Greek Business File reports
European Elections 2019: In Greece, a page turned
The European Parliament election and Municipality elections in Greece ended with a great defeat for the ruling party of SYRIZA and a clear victory for the centre- right party of New Democracy. Furthermore, three minor political parties completely disappeared from the Greek political scene while several new ones made their entry. The 33,10% share of New Democracy was a shock for SYRIZA and prime minister A. Tsipras personally, who immediately announced early elections on July 7th, hoping to overturn this result, which seems rather doubtful. The nearly 10% gap between SYRIZA and New Democracy is not reversible according to the leading party, which at the same time gained the largest municipalities in Greece. Announcing early elections Mr. Tsipras insisted that ” the people and only the people will make the decision… They will decide whether they want us to carry on with a plan to support the many or whether they want to return to the darkness of austerity, of the IMF, of the yesterday that we all lived through” Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the centre right ND leader rapidly urged Mr. Tsipras to resign “so that the country can hold national elections as soon as possible. That in the final analysis is the only clear- cut solution. Greece cannot wait any longer and cannot constantly retreat”. Sunday’s May 26th election polls unveiled other interesting elements of the present political scene in Greece. The centre- left Movement of Change (KINAL) under the leadership of Fofi Gennimata gained a 7,7%, considered a victory as this small party (in the shadow of the dominant PASOK of the past) was not squeezed by the extreme pressure SYRIZA has put it under during the previous months. Other smaller parties, which emerged during the crisis period, have now disappeared.
The party of Independent Greeks, former partner to SYRIZA government, headed by P. Kammenos has completely disappeared from the election map, even though Mr. Kammenos fiercely battled against the Prespes Agreement. The same happened to the POTAMI party of Mr. Stavros Theodorakis as well as to the Union of the Centre Party of Mr. Leventis. The Communist party of Greece (KKE) maintained its position with a 5,39% share while the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn lost almost half of its votes (4,86%). New entries to the Greek political scene is the far right, ultra– Orthodox and pro–Russian party Elliniki Lysi (Greek Solution) created by Kyriakos Velopoulos, attracting voters from both Golden Dawn and Independent Greeks parties. Of extreme importance, though it did not draw much attention, was the European election results in Rodopi and Xanthi in Thrace. For the first time in these regions there were two Greek Muslim political parties, which gained first place in Rodopi and second in Xanthi.