It appears that the attempts to form a government after the elections on 6 May will not succeed and voters will have to vote again. Many commentators believe that in the second election race, radical left SYRIZA will be able to increase its strength and will even be the first party in number of votes won.
Others believe that having in mind the way Alexis Tsipras benefited from the mandate to form a government and his statements that the economy will be supported by the bank deposits of citizens have already cooled the enthusiasm of many of the voters and they will turn to more "stable "options.
About what may happen in the next elections which are imminent, GRReporter talked with political science professor Athanasios Diamantopoulos.
Mr. Diamantopoulos, how would you analyze the election results?
The result of Sunday's elections is obviously leading to a lack of government in the country. Most probably, it will not be able to bring a new government. If a cabinet could be formed it would be extremely weak and with no authority to implement a minimum real policy. In conclusion, I would say that this result has established in Greece in 2012 the picture of Germany during the Weimar Republic, in which the extreme of the system are particularly strong.
In the event of new elections, what do you think will happen?
With regard to the two traditional poles of the old two-party system, I think that New Democracy has better prospects for the following reasons: First, parties with similar ideology such as LAOS, the Democratic Alliance and Drasi did not have good result. Therefore, their voters will most probably unite mostly because of the danger of SYRIZA getting the highest number of votes. The parties belonging to the nationalist right - Independent Greeks and Golden Dawn, have no clear structures yet. Therefore, some of the people, who voted for them under the pressure of panic and in order to send a message, will probably return to the main pole of the traditional right.
In contrast, parties that are ideologically close to PASOK such as the Democratic Left and SYRIZA have reported increases in their rates. Therefore, it is difficult for PASOK to gain power because of the dynamics of SYRIZA.
As for the main election winner – the radical left SYRIZA, I think the trends there will be opposite. On the one hand, it will have the dynamics due to the election results on Sunday. On the other hand, it is possible that some of the voters may have given a vote of protest because they wanted to send a message to the two ex major parties, not believing that either of them would not be strong enough to form a government.
Therefore, many of them could give up SYRIZA. This whole conceit, excesses, errors, requests for repentance and objective control over the deposits of citizens, or the re-nationalization of banks and other state enterprises, which have recently been privatized could drive them to make this decision. Another reason might be the megalomaniac conduct of the leader of the party with his attempts to meet with French President Francois Hollande. He tried to intervene in the European affairs with the threats of unilateral withdrawal from the commitments without realizing that the state should be continued. We can also speak about the presence of fear that putting these proposals into practice through the work of government can lead to complete economic disaster. All these things may make the reasonable strata of Greek society withdraw their support of SYRIZA, as they wanted to send a message to the political system but then saw it exceeding their expectations.
I really cannot tell which of the two probabilities will prevail. The fact is that the Greeks have learned to accept their wishes as reality for years. There is a trend of rapidly rising demagoguery known from the 1980s and Andreas Papandreou. And Alexis Tsipras definitely wants to imitate him. In this case, an even greater impetus to the dynamics of SYRIZA is possible. Then, we will find ourselves in a situation that I do not know what it might bring. I mean whether Greece will remain or leave the euro area and Europe.
One of the poll agencies has presented a study that showed an increase in the percentage of SYRIZA. How would you comment on it?
Yes, that is right. But we should note two things in connection with the study: First, it was held only two days after the party's election victory on 6 May. Therefore, it presents the dynamics of attracting voters not losing them. And this is because the participants most probably had not realized the things I already mentioned in connection with the self-confident and megalomaniac behaviour of the representatives of SYRIZA. But most importantly, the study failed to capture the accountability for the fact that the specific parliament is unable to form any government. New elections will be announced any moment and the citizens will wonder why their vote that gave power to left parties could not form a government. And this is something that can act in the opposite direction.
Of course, this is something that cannot currently be measured. It is obvious that SYRIZA has rising dynamics for the time being.
What will happen if SYRIZA manages to receive the majority of the votes in the possible second elections, but they are not enough for establishing an independent government?
Theoretically, a third election race is possible too. I am not at all sure that the Greek society can withstand a third election race without failing at a time when there are such "pending" problems. I would say the same for the second elections.