With Greek elections looming, the country’s mainstream political forces are melting down and splintering into smaller, more radical factions, all of which are vowing to deliver Greece from its EU bailout terms. In his campaign kickoff speech on April 19, Greek socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos described the state of Greek politics as “rudderless”. “This political dead end will multiply and deepen the economic and social crisis,” he said. Venizelos was holding up the specter of ungovernability, which currently haunts Greek politics, to deter voters from punitive action at the ballot box. More than four in ten voters say they are going to the polls to punish socialists and conservatives for their mismanagement of the economy in previous years, rather than to elect the best possible government.
Two years of harsh austerity measures have seen the prospects of the socialist Pasok party and the conservative New Democracy party—which have ruled in coalition for the past six months–tumble from a joint 77 percent of the popular vote in the last elections in 2009, to an estimated 30-37 percent if elections were held today, according to a slew of opinion polls. Anger at the two parties is running so high that even politicians admit the May 6 election will surely mark the end of an era. The recent political shifts in France and Holland are further indications of impending punishment for Greece’s rulers.
Pasok and New Democracy have alternated in power ever since Greek democracy was restored in 1974 after a seven-year military dictatorship. They are the twin suns of Greek politics—stars that have, since the beginning of this year, begun to spin out into supernovas, discharging chunks of their masses as satellite parties. Now, those satellites are threatening to pull more voters away.
Full Article: Greece’s Election Supernova – The Daily Beast.