In Greece's January 25 elections, 388,000 people voted for the fascist, neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. The election was largely fought as a contest of hope and solidarity against fear and austerity. Radical left party SYRIZA defeated right-wing establishment party New Democracy. SYRIZA placed first in the popular vote with 36% of votes, but the openly fascist party Golden Dawn took third place in the poll with 6.3%. This is significant for three reasons:
He is an economist, academic, poet, blogger, video game consultant, libertarian Marxist, motorbike rider and accidental fashion icon. Now he’s the holder of possibly the most difficult job in the world: Greece’s finance minister. Meet Yanis Varoufakis, SYRIZA Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s right hand man and the key negotiator between Greece and its creditors. In downtown Athens, Varoufakis is well liked among the public. He is the definitive cosmopolitan, self-made man who sees himself as a citizen of Europe as much as Greece.
Welcome to Green Left's live election blog for the Greek Elections! Dick Nichols, Vivian Messimeris and Athanasios Lazarou will be updating live from Athens throughout the day. Voting has just begun in Athens and the big news is that the Coalition of the Radical Left party, SYRIZA, are widely believed to be set for a historic victory over the current New Democracy government. Led by the young and charismatic Alexis Tsipras, SYRIZA are set to become the first left wing party to hold power in Europe for decades and will be the first anti-austerity party to come to power in the Eurozone.
For the first time since the eurozone crisis began in 2009, the Greek economy has reported a yearly growth of 0.6%. Unemployment is also down ― to a still-staggering 25.8%. However, you wouldn’t see any economic change on the streets; rather, the only changes visible in Greece are political. The Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza), has been consistently polling anywhere between five and 10 points higher than the coalition government led by conservative party New Democracy.
How does capitalism survive? This was the question that greeted the 11th annual Historical Materialism conference in London. Held from November 6 to 9 at the Vernon Square Campus, it was a four-day long broad marriage of global leftist activists and academics run by the Marxist journal of the same name. Posed as a simple question, it quickly developed into as many answers and narratives as there are positions within the left.
“For millions of people, the European dream has turned into a nightmare,” Alexis Tspiras, the leader of Greece's Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), said in a November 28 opinion piece in The Guardian. Tsipras was explaining why he will campaign on behalf of the European Left party for president of the European commission in elections next May. He said he was driven by the “desire to reunite Europe and rebuild it on a democratic and progressive basis. There is an alternative to the present crisis and it is our duty and destiny to fight for it.”
The 40th anniversary of the polytechnic uprising that helped end the Western-backed military junta in Greece was marked on November 17. The date is a national day of remembrance and marks a defining moment in modern Greek history. The image of a tank battering down the gates to the student-occupied polytechnic school 40 years ago remains strong in the public consciousness. To this day, it is illegal for the police and army to enter the university grounds.