web analytics
November 1, 2014 / 8 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Will the Greek Revolution Spread to the Rest of Europe?

Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Greek left wing coalition SYRIZA.

Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Greek left wing coalition SYRIZA.

After Greece’s second parliamentary election this year (June 2012), there was a collective sigh of relief in Europe. The political parties that negotiated the bailouts of Greece in 2010 and 2011 had secured a majority in the new parliament and formed a government that was committed to avoiding a Greek default. Europe’s political leaders could now hasten to damp down the next brush fire in the Eurozone, the crisis of the Spanish banks.

What those political leaders overlooked was that the Greek political scene has undergone a revolution.

To be precise, Greece’s conservative New Democracy party (ND) had narrowly defeated SYRIZA, the leftist alliance, and formed a government with the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), its old rival, and the Democratic Left.

SYRIZA had campaigned for repudiation of what Greeks call “the memorandum” (to mnimonio), that is, the program of drastic financial measures to which the preceding Greek governments had agreed in exchange for the bailouts.

Other parties in the new parliament also opposed the memorandum: the veteran Greek Communist Party and, on the right, the chauvinist Independent Greeks and the New Dawn. This last is a party whose symbols and manifestations are unashamedly reminiscent of Nazism. In the elections of 2012, it succeeded in supplanting LAOS, a religious nationalist party.

So what is the revolution? Ever since the restoration of Greek democracy in 1974, the New Democraty party and Panhellenic Socialist Movement had dominated parliament and alternated in government. Between them, they regularly held over 80% of the seats. That constant of Greek politics has vanished. Now the New Democracy party is challenged on the right and the Panhellenic Socialist Movement has been eclipsed by SYRIZA, which exemplifies the Trotskyite doctrine of permanent revolution.

SYRIZA sympathizers are prominent in violent and destructive demonstrations. Their baleful influence in Greek universities, which they have turned into permanent bases of operations, was recently documented in the Times Higher Education Supplement. Not surprisingly, the dedicated website permanentrevolution.net urged the Greeks to vote SYRIZA.

Compare the results of the Greek elections from October 2009 and those recently held June 2012. (There was also a May 2012 election, but that can be seen as merely transitional.) Note that the Greek electoral law sets aside a number of the 300 seats in the parliament as a bonus for the party that polls highest. The remaining seats are divided in proportion to the votes cast among those parties which receive at least 3% of the total votes.

In October 2009 the result in seats and percentages was as follows:

Panhellenic Socialist Movement 160 (43.92%, plus a bonus of 40), New Democracy party 91 (33.47%); Communists 21 (7.54%); LAOS 15 (5.63%); and SYRIZA 13 (4.60%). By contrast, the election of June 2012 went as follows:

New Democracy party 129 (29.66%, plus a bonus of 50); SYRIZA 71 (26.89%); Panhellenic Socialist Movement 33 (12.28%); Independent Greeks 20 (7.51%); Communists 12 (4.50%); Golden Dawn 18 (6.92); and Independent Left 17 (6.26%). The figures speak for themselves. SYRIZA, coming from almost nowhere, has largely supplanted the Panhellenic Socialist Movement on the left. Considering that in the election of March 2007, the New Democracy party won 152 seats (41.83%, bonus of 40), the right has also been seriously split. Indeed, the New Democracy party “won” the latest election with a smaller percentage of votes than when the percentage it received when it lost in 2009. MOST PEOPLE will conclude that this is a purely Greek phenomenon, reflecting the dire situation of the Greek state and economy. They could not be more wrong. The Netherlands has one of the three strongest economies in the Eurozone, up along with Germany and Finland. Nevertheless, the same fundamental shift in the political landscape is underway there.

The Dutch parliament has two chambers; the more important second chamber has 150 seats. For decades, most of them were won by three parties: the conservative Christian Democrats (CDA), the Liberals (VVD) and the Labor Party (PvdA). In the election of June 2010, the CDA went down from 41 to 21 seats, losing out to its upstart rival on the right, the Freedom Party (PVV) of Geert Wilders, which jumped from 15 to 24 seats.

Another election is scheduled for September 12, 2012. Recent opinion polls suggest that the Christian Democrats will drop further, to a humiliating 13 seats. But the big surprise is that on the left the Labor party will drop from 30 to 15-17, while its rival, the Socialist Party (SP), will jump from 15 to 38.

About the Author: Malcolm Lowe is a regular contributor to the Gatestone Institute.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Will the Greek Revolution Spread to the Rest of Europe?”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    The rise of extremism of either the Left or the Right is not good for Europe and not good for Jews. And the author is correct that the rest of Europe could well drive Greece further towards such.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Yehudah Glick on the Temple Mount.
Yehuda Glick’s Condition Stabilizing, “He Was Very Lucky” (1:00 PM)
Latest Indepth Stories
Which glass has the poison?

The White House wanted to defame Netanyahu, undermine his reputation, impugn him & his policies

Adolf Hitler and the representative of the Palestinian Arabs, the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, December, 1941.

Palestinian anti-Semitism in 2014 is more extreme and mainstream than German A/S in the 1930s.

Sheldon Silver

Woven deeply through it all is the Jewish obligation to fight injustice.

Cravatts-Richard--new

Only in the inverted world of academia would Jewish professors denounce the AMCHA Initiative report.

Many poskim were and are adamant about the responsibility of every individual to vote.

Individuals who may have been abused are the “clients” in need and receiving care and protection.

An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor

The fact that the United States government after World War II sought to take advantage of the expertise of German scientists, even those known to have contributed to the Nazi war effort, is well known and largely accepted as having been necessary for America’s national defense. (Wernher von Braun is perhaps the most famous and […]

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.

To say he was beloved because of the way he loved his students does not sufficiently capture the reality.

The birth I speak about is to give birth to ourselves, to our full potential.

The extreme hypocrisy, contempt & vulgarity of the attacks indicate more than a policy disagreement

More Articles from Malcolm Lowe
Right Reverend Lorna Hood at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Anyone with a grain of theological education knows that the original Scripture of the Early Church was exclusively the Scripture of the Jews.

Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Greek left wing coalition SYRIZA.

After Greece’s second parliamentary election this year (June 2012), there was a collective sigh of relief in Europe. The political parties that negotiated the bailouts of Greece in 2010 and 2011 had secured a majority in the new parliament and formed a government that was committed to avoiding a Greek default. Europe’s political leaders could now hasten to damp down the next brush fire in the Eurozone, the crisis of the Spanish banks. What those political leaders overlooked was that the Greek political scene has undergone a revolution.

Gibraltar, Monaco, and Hong Kong are all, like Gaza, small heavily populated areas with a coastline, and all are thriving. The main obstacle to further dramatic growth is Gaza’s bad habit of shooting missiles at Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/europes-revolution-it-began-in-greece-and-it-may-come-to-the-rest-of-the-continent/2012/09/03/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: