Athens – The election results did not follow the opinion polls that indicated a very close margin between the SYRIZA and the New Democracy Party, the conservative rightwing party. Did not follow also the prognostics that the party of independent Greeks ANEL will not manage to overcome the minimum 3% of the votes and enter the Parliament.
This was particularly important because Alexis Tsipras asked the electorate for self sufficiency, underlining that he was not ready to make a coalition government with any other party except ANEL of Panos Kamenos, his previous partner in government.
The electoral results are more than satisfactory for Alexis Tsipras. His party got 35% of the vote, about 7% more than the party of New Democracy (28,4%). The ANEL party managed finally to enter the parliament with 3,7% , 1% approximately less than the score in the previous elections. The 10 deputies of ANEL, in addition to 145 deputies of SYRIZA, make up 155 deputies and ensure the necessary parliamentary majority of 150 deputies.
On the part of the European Union and especially of the President of the European Parliament Martin Schultz , there are pressures for the participation in the government of the socialist party of PASOK , which managed to stabilize its position and to show a small increase of its electoral force, at the expense mainly of the POTAMI party, which lost 2% of the vote and went down from 6% to 4%.
The eventual participation of PASOK to the government is not a necessity for Alexis Tsipras but an open option, which can be realized later, in the purpose of consolidation of the parliamentary majority and the political alliances of the government as well as of the consolidation of European political support , especially that of the European Socialist Party.
What happened to the Popular Unity party, the split group from SYRIZA, which did not manage to enter the parliament ?
One of the big surprises of the elections, is undoubtedly the failure of the party of Popular Unity to enter the parliament. This party, which expressed the political agenda of the Left Platform SYRIZA, denouncing the capitulation to the foreign creditors of Alexis Tsipras, represented a considerable part of the united SYRIZA. Among the cadres who followed Panagiotis Lafazanis, the leader fo the Left Platform, and Zoe Constantopoulou, the ex President of the Parliament , who allied herself with Panagiotis Lafazanis, were 46 deputies, 3 ministers and 108, members of the Central Committee of SYRIZA out of a total of 200 members.
Panagiotis Lafazanis and Zoe Contantopoulou, in their comments after the elections, put the blame on the formidable abstention,which climbed up to 45% from 36% in the previous elections. Certainly, this is one very important reason, which mainly penalized the non systemic parties, which oppose the austerity policies, imposed by the foreign creditors.
It is not of course the only reason. Another very important is the difficulty of the electorate to believe to the credibility of an alternative solution, following the deception and disappointment that brought about the failure of Tsipras to bring something better than the previous “mnemonio” (memorandum).
The Popular Unity party made a step further, leaving open the door for a return to drachma, if necessary and if the creditors do not agree to a compromise. Under the present circumstances, while the Greek banks are on the red and under the rules of bank controls, this rhetoric is not the one that is welcomed by an exasperated public opinion which aspires to the restoration of some kind of stability and normality.
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