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The strange case of the Greek left wing

24 April 2012 / 21:04:44  GRReporter
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Far and radical left parties in Greece have a chance to revive again after the two-party model known as PASOK/New Democracy has failed and people have turned away from it. It appears, however, that the Renaissance will be late, as all parties of the "power to the people" type have a different view of how should Greece "reborn" look like after the elections. Some imagine it free from all the obligations of the memorandum but happily swimming in euro. Others aspire to full nationalization and an economic model reminiscent of Stalin, whereas a third group is trying to balance between the communist ideal and socialist centrism in order to take a larger piece of the disintegrating PASOK.

"Down with the memorandum of slavery - people do not owe anyone anything," is not just another slogan written on a poster during a feeble protest in central Athens. It is the election slogan of the Greek Communist Party. In its election platform, KKE firmly supports the exit of Greece from the euro area, the European Union and NATO. This firm stance surprised some supporters of the communist movement, because at the beginning of the economic crisis, the main secretary of the red left wing Aleka Papariga said that it would be disastrous for the people if Greece leaves the euro area.

"We do not imagine that these elections will form a government able to help people. Reality is cruel. It can change only when people decide to oppose, but this requires organization, determination and collective action," said the candidate of the Communist Party of Greece KKE Andreas Vogiatzoglou.

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras is counting on the policy against the memorandum of financial aid and is targeting the fears of the weakest. At a meeting with retirees from Petroupolis constituency, Tsipras said, "If you want to see more pension cuts, vote for PASOK and New Democracy. But if you want to put an end to this constant collapse, you must stop them with your vote." Tsipras relies on canvassing for the votes of the elderly, who have been supporters of both major parties for years. In his speeches to retired people, he does not fail to note that both PASOK and New Democracy cut Greek pensions three times in two years.  

Alexis Tsipras argues that his party can ensure political stability - a task in which both major Greek parties have failed. He stressed that SYRIZA supports the European policy of Greece, but opposes the conditions set in the memorandum of financial aid. The motto of the pre-election campaign of SYRIZA is "They decided for us, we continue without them." It sends the message that the party is ready to lead Greece as a leader and to leave behind PASOK and New Democracy.

Fotis Kouvelis, who was disaffiliated with SYRIZA more than a year ago and established the Democratic Left party, defined the leaders of PASOK and New Democracy as architects of chaos. In his presentation, he supports the principles of democratic socialism and left Europeanism. Democratic Left claims to have a reform strategy, but not for those reforms set in the memorandum of financial aid. Kouvelis insists that neither pensions nor salaries should be cut in the country but it should fight tax unfairness and informal economy. An idea proclaimed by each party in Greece - from the radical right wing to the extreme left wing. He does not explain how corrupt practices that have been evolving for years could be eliminated overnight, but apparently, he will take a serious part of the disaffected socialists in Greece.

The common thing between the three left-wing parties is their opposition to the memorandum of financial aid and the measures it brings. They disagree with the policy pursued in the country, do not want a liberal model of government and want to enhance the impact of the public sector. However, they cannot find common ground and unite in the pre-election period. It will become clear after two weeks who will enter the Parliament and how severe its word will be.

Tags: PoliticsKKESYRIZADemocratic LeftElections 2012Greece
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