Greece: SYRIZA pipped at the post; photos, videos of SYRIZA's final election rally, Athens
June 18, 2012 -- Green Left TV/Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- Afrodity Giannakis, Green Left Weekly correspondent in Greece and an activist in SYRIZA, gives her first impressions of the result of the June 17 general election where the conservative New Democracy beat the left coalition SYRIZA into first place by just 3% of the vote. Younger voters voted strongly for the left while older voters tended to vote conservative.
Graphic from http://www.skai.gr/ekloges2012.
June 18, 2012 -- Links international Journal of Socialist Renewal -- The Coalition of the Radical Left, SYRIZA, just failed in it's second attempt to become the largest party in Greece's parliament, winning 26.9% of the vote in the June 17 general election, up from 17%. The right-wing New Democracy party came in first with almost 29.7%. SYRIZA was up against enormous odds, with the weight of Europe's ruling classes unleashing an all-out propaganda offensive against it.
The refusal of sections of the left to form a united front in the election also damaged SYRIZA's chances of coming in first and gaining the bonus 50 seats in parliament (the Communist Party KKE saw its vote drop to to 4.5% and the far-left Antarsya's vote barely registered at 0.33%). The total far-left vote this time was around 32%; in the May 6 general election the three radical left parties combined won 27% (SYRIZA 17%, KKE 8.5%, Antarsya 1.2%).
Nonetheless SYRIZA is far from discouraged, recognising that Greece will continue to face fierce class battles over any new government's attempts to maintain austerity policies. The British Guardian's Helena Smith reported:
Speaking before thousands of cheering supporters waving red and white flags (some emblazoned with the hammer and sickle) outside Athens' ornate university building [SYRIZA leader Alexis] Tsipras told the crowd: "Some may think that they won the elections tonight but they did not. The people won. The policies of austerity have been defeated. They will not be able to push forward with them either in Greece or Europe."
Tsipras ... was joined on the stage by the World War II hero Manolis Glezos who in a first act of resistance against Nazi rule tore down the swastika from the Acropolis. The 92-year-old hailed the left's ... vote. "Who would have thought, or calculated, that we would go from 4.6% to this?", he enthused punching the air with his fist. "We must raise the flag, the flag of victory."
Hopes and fears - an election eve report from Greece
June 16, 2012 -- Green Left TV -- On the eve of the June 17, parliamentary elections in Greece, Green Left Weekly's correspondent in Greece Afrodity Giannakis reports from Thessalonika, on the hopes and fears of a people forced to bear the burden for a global capitalist economic crisis built on the greed, speculation and corruption of the rich and powerful minority.
Tens of thousands of supporters attended SYRIZA's final election rally in Omonia Square, Athens,
June 14, 2012. Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the leftwing party, promised an end to the austerity after the June 17 election. From Left.gr
Alexis Tsipras' speech.