Greece

How can the left topple the bosses' Europe?

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Syriza demo

The rise of left formations such as Syriza and Podemos presents new challenges

Over the past two months a string of remarkable opinion polls have appeared across Europe that point to big opportunities — and big challenges — for the left. In Greece the radical left party Syriza, which came close to winning the 2012 general elections, has moved to being 5 to 10 percent ahead of the ruling conservative New Democracy party. Some polls in the Irish Republic have seen Sinn Fein nose ahead of both the ruling Fine Gael party and the once dominant party of Irish capitalism, Fianna Fail.

Greece moves to the left

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The Euro and local elections have confirmed that the surge in support of the left wing Syriza was not a flash in the pan. But the party is now shifting to the right.

The election results in Greece confirmed that there is a swing to the left. Many commentators were saying that the election results in 2012 were an "accident" - the fact that the left wing party

Syriza came very close to winning in 2012 was dismissed as a "moment of anger" from Greek voters. These results now show that this was not true. Syriza led in the European elections by four points ahead of the conservatives in New Democracy.

The resistable rise of Golden Dawn

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Socialist Review spoke to Petros Constantinou, an Athens councillor for the left wing Antarsya coalition and the national coordinator of the Movement Against Racism and the Fascist Threat (Keerfa) in Greece.


Where is Greece at the moment in terms of the rise of Golden Dawn and the anti-fascist movement?

After the murder of rapper Pavlos Fyssas on 18 September there was an explosion of anger against the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, and against the government that was giving it cover.

The greek crisis and the Left

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Socialist Review interviewed Thanasis Kampagiannis, a member of the Greek Socialist Workers Party (SEK), about the political situation in Greece, the moves to the right by Syriza and the prospects for workers' resistance to austerity and the Troika (the EU, European Central Bank and IMF).


The crisis that followed the move by the government to shut down ERT, the public TV and radio broadcaster, seems to have left the government in a weaker position and led to the departure of the Democratic Left from the ruling coalition. Can the government survive?

Ghosts of the past return

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Homophobia is back on the political agenda of the right across Europe, writes Colin Wilson. But there is also potential for resistance if LGBT people unite with anti-cuts groups and trade unionists.

The right-wing homophobes have come out of the closet. Most Tory MPs voted against same-sex marriage. Ukip -currently at double figures in the polls - opposes gay marriage, and local Ukip members have put out leaflets claiming that children "have the right to a father and a mother." The Tories have failed to revive the economy, and with no end to cuts and falling pay in sight. In this context the right are desperate for scapegoats - attacking benefit claimants, immigrants, Muslims and now LGBT people.

Greece: the battle lines sharpen

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Last month's general strike in Greece was an impressive response to attempts by the government to crack down on strikes and protests against austerity. Nikos Loudos, a Greek revolutionary socialist, spoke to Despina Karayianni and Mark L Thomas about the developing movement


Last month's general strike seems to have been a big success. It comes against a background where the government has been taking a harder line, attacking strikes and occupations and becoming more vicious. Could you say something about the position of the government?

The government is trying to present itself as a lion, but in reality it's a mouse.

Austerity and a Greek island

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Our view of austerity in Greece is usually shaped by events on the mainland. Chris Jones, who lives on the island of Samos, looks at the impact of the crisis on people living in the Greek periphery

Stories in the mainstream media, both abroad and in Greece, say that the Greek government is not cutting hard enough or quickly enough. In reality, wages have been slashed by 40 percent as have all benefits and pensions. Work has evaporated. Seven percent is the projected reduction for this year alone and we are in the fifth year of recession. This is disaster time for ordinary Greeks.

Greece at a crossroads

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Socialist Review spoke to Giorgos Pittas, a journalist from the Greek socialist newspaper Workers' Solidarity, about the political situation in Greece following elections in May that saw a dramatic fall in support for parties backing austerity.

What was behind the collapse in support for Pasok and New Democracy, parties that have dominated Greek politics since the fall of the military junta in the mid-1970s, at the election in early May?

First is the scale of suffering. The rate of unemployment is now over 21 percent - it has doubled over the last two years. For young people unemployment is at 50 percent. There used to be hardly any homeless people in Athens, but this winter there were 25,000 living in the streets.

Eurozone crisis: can Greek workers defy the bankers?

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Greeks must accept austerity, it is often argued, because the alternative would be worse. Sotiris Kontogiannis argues for a workers' default against the bankers

The government and the media in Greece are conducting a scare campaign against the prospect of a default and exit from the eurozone. The measures imposed by the "troika" (the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the European Central Bank) may be harsh, they say. Many people may suffer. But the alternatives are even worse. Without the assistance of the troika, Greece would default on its debts. The state would run out of money. Salaries and pensions would have to be suspended.

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