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Monday, 7 May 2012

The way we are: Election aftermath

Last night's election results signalled the death of the Greek political system as we knew it. Left and right loses its meaning and Greek voters showed themselves to be thinkers: very few voted along the traditional two-party line, putting more meaning into the word 'democracy'.

However, New Democracy, the old 'right' party, has still come into first place - but only with a very small majority. It can't form a government on its own ,so it will need to find another party willing to form a coalition (which most people already recognise is very very difficult for New Democracy - they aren't that likeable in themselves).

The Greeks: The Land and People Since the War: A Land and People Since the WarBut PASOK, the old 'left' party, is well and truly dead, an event that James Pettifer (Scottish-born hisotrian) predicted nearly 20 years ago in his book The Greeks: The Land and People since the War. Last night, we pretty much saw it in practice. 

SI.RIZ.A (ΣΥ.ΡΙΖ.Α. - Συνασπισμός Ριζοσπαστικής Αριστεράς - Coalition of the Radical Left), a 'left' movement, looks now to be the new 'left', having gained the second highest number of votes. But its percentage is not much behind New Democracy.  In fact. SIRIZA can easily form a coalition with other leftist parties which is where they have the upper hand over New Democracy who stand pretty much on their own. No wonder Antonis Samaras lost his voice pleading with citizens to make his party the majority party - he doesn't know where to find friends...

There is only one slight worry with the election results: Golden Dawn (the equivalent of the BNP) has managed to sneak in. Golden Dawn made their mark probably because urban dwellers, mainly in Athens and Pireas, got sick and tired of seeing illegal immigrants hog their hometown with no one doing anything about it. This shows that Greeks voted with their own minds - they voted according to what hurt them most. I reckon that Golden Dawn - like all extremists - will be taken as seriously as Wilders in Holland (he's like so not cool at the moment).

At any rate, it's out with the old and rotten, and in with the new and fresh.

Good morning Greece, a new world awaits you.

The Making of the Greek Crisis (Penguin Shorts)I give the last word to James Pettifer from his new book The Making of the Greek Crisis:
"It is a pity that members of the ECB or the Commission have probably never watched a traditional Greek shadow puppet play where the cunning Karagiozis outwits the Turkish overlord and runs off with the kudos, the moral victory, the joke, and most of all, the vizier's money. Many features of the plays can be immediately recognised in the Greek EU current turmoils."
If only those who had tried to benefit from us for so long had bothered to learn a little more about us before the mess they all landed in.

James Pettifer's book is also included in the latest edition of The Greeks: The Land and People since the War.Writing about Greece is these days is such a profitable enterprise.

UPDATE: Although HANIA voters showed a clear swing against the former two main parties, this is not the general case throughout Crete. The Cretans DID NOT vote with a clear mind. Check out the graphic: the language is in Greek, but the colours and party logos tell you what people voted. This says a heck of a lot Cretan identity. Not that the rest of the country showed any major improvement in their mentality, given the fact that the 'other' party kept getting in...

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