Socialist Worker

Radical left scores a victory in Greek elections

by Matthew Cookson
Issue No. 2227

Regional elections in Greece last weekend showed the anger at the Pasok government’s austerity programme.

The Labour-type party is implementing huge cuts. But workers’ resistance—which has seen six general strikes this year alone—is piling on pressure to stop cuts.

The election saw a big drop in votes for Pasok—down to two million from three million at last year’s general election. The right wing New Democracy party and the fascist Laos party also saw their votes drop.

And, in a country where voting is officially compulsory, 40 percent of voters abstained.

The left was the success story. The Communist Party’s vote rose by more than 10 percent. The three different factions of the left Syriza coalition picked up a similar amount of votes to last year, despite damaging splits.

The Antarsya anti-capitalist coalition made a major step forward. It quadrupled its vote to 100,000, winning 2 percent of the national vote and 20 councillors across the country.

Several members of the Greek Socialist Workers Party, a key part of Antarsya, won council seats.

Prime minister George Papandreou said he would call a general election if Pasok lost. The party did well enough for him to say that he did not need to do that.

“Even with these tactics Pasok saw a huge drop in its vote,” said Panos Garganas, editor of the Workers Democracy paper in Greece.

“It faces stiff opposition. Local government workers are to strike on Friday of next week and a work to rule is on in hospitals.

“The next general strike is planned for 15 December—budget day.”

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Tue 9 Nov 2010, 18:50 GMT
Issue No. 2227
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