By Bradley Bernard
Chief Leader Writer
GREEK voters rejecting the austerity plans of the troika was less than a decade ago – but politically, it may as well have been a lifetime.
Syriza – once the party of the working class – waved the bankers’ plans through, crippling living standards and placing the Greek left in disarray. They are set to underwhelm once again.
In 2019 Greek voters turned on Alexis Tsipras following his capitulation to Brussels a few years prior, instead ushering in ‘New Democracy’.
With the nation’s bond credit rating in turmoil once again, Kyriakos Mitsotakis was compelled to send the electorate to the polls ahead of time.
Voters may have thought the established Communist Party of Greece was the only other option to the uninspiring major organisations of ND and Syriza.
But Yanis Varoufakis – the influential socialist economist who had served under Tsipras until Syriza sold out – is back.
His party, MeRA25, have enjoyed steady growth since they won nine seats in the 2019 Greek election.
Managing to get over the three per cent threshold to enter parliament at the first attempt is no mean feat – and shows that a significant proportion of the Greek electorate are open to change.
The latest polls have MeRA25 on around four per cent – enough to be the fourth largest party in parliament.
The manifesto is not explicitly Marxist, nor is it all that simple. Their seven principles sound like Elon Musk’s brain after reading Das Kapital.
But crucially, they are also proposals which are likely to make it to the top of government. Neither ND nor Syriza are likely to win an outright majority – and while Syriza had hoped to rely on PASOK, MeRA25 could hold the balance of power after the election.
Varoufakis said this week: “From the beginning, Tsipras only wanted to form a coalition with the social democratic PASOK. Now it is becoming clear that MeRA25 will make it into parliament again.
“Both parties, Mitsotakis’ Nea Dimokratia (ND) and Tsipras’ Syriza, have panicked, for different reasons. If MeRA25 is back in parliament, it will be more difficult for ND to continue governing alone. Syriza, in turn, would have to talk to us.”
MeRA25, will, of course, also have the support of Popular Unity – formed in 2015 by leftists aghast at Syriza’s actions – in a coalition.
The best result for MeRA25 will be to snap at the heels of PASOK and become a powerful kingmaker in Greece. But Varoufakis – who has admitted as much – will need to be wary of propping up the oligarchy for the sake of “two or three ministries”.
Featured Image: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
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