by Paddy Healy
Supporters of the Irish Labour Party should view the Greek results carefully. The Fianna Fail style collapse of PASOK awaits the Irish Labour Party in the next local and general elections. (See Details below)
PASOK,the greek socialist party (sister party to the Irish Labour Party) has fallen from 43% to 13% in the Greek Election. Pasok implemented the First EU/IMF programme and joined a coalition with the conservative New Democracy Party to implement the more recent second programme.
A huge wave of opposition to austerity for those on low and middle incomes in the election lifted the anti-austerity Coalition of the Left into second place at 17%. Other Left Anti-Austerity parties polled a combined total of almost 15% of the vote. There were also gains for the Extreme Right Golden Dawn Party which entered parliament with 7% of the vote.
As the undemocratic GreeK Electoral system awards a bonus of 50 seats to the leading party, it is not excluded that New Democracy/Pasok could form a new austerity coalition government with the participation of a few external deputies.
Eamonn Gilmore has tried to associate himself with the victory of Socialist Francois Hollande in the French Presidential Election. The truth is that the French people have revolted against a level of austerity which is mild in comparison to that being implemented by the Labour Party in government in Ireland. Francois Hollande has said that the Fiscal Compact will not be ratified by France in its present form. While, like Gilmore, Hollande may renege on his commitments, his declarations are helpful to the campaign for a NO vote.
These results are part of a growing movement against austerity across Europe. The defeat of the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition in the recent British local elections is part of this movement.
This Europe-wide wave underlines the opportunities and tasks which fall to the United Left Alliance in Ireland. We must strive for greater unity and agreement on central issues at every turn.
Greek Election Results
Greeks showed rejection of the traditional ruling parties of New Democracy Conservatives and PASOK Socialists who supported austerity. With 99% of the votes counted the two traditional parties cannot even form a coalition, since they do not win 151 seats (out of 300) in the Greek parliament that are necessary to form a government.
According to the Greek Ministry of Interior Affairs seven parties enter the Greek parliament, the results are the following:
New Democracy (Conservative): 18.88 and 108 seats (includes a bonus of 50 seats for Leading Party)
SYRIZA (Coalition of the Left): 16.76 and 52 seats
PASOK(Greek Socialist Party): 13.19 and 41 seats
Independent Greeks: 10.60 and 33 seats
Communist Party – KKE: 8.47% and 26 seats
Golden Dawn(Extreme right): 6.97 and 21 seats
Democratic Left: 6.10 and 19 seats
It is very unlikely that Greece will have a new government anytime soon since the collaboration of other parties with New Democracy has been rejected by most of them. According to the Greek constitution, elections will have to be repeated until a party, or a coalition can form a government. The Greek elections will most likely be repeated on June 17 2012.
Greek election results were being closely watched in Europe and internationally. The Troika has said that any attempts to tinker with demanded reforms could lead to the money pipeline being shut off. Greece is surviving on a first rescue package of $152 billion in international loans and a coming second bailout of $173 billion more, but that is contingent on the new government administering more harsh measures, including $15 billion more for beleaguered Greeks. Austerity has worsened a deep recession now in its fifth year, created 21.7 percent unemployment and led to to the closing of more than 111,000 businesses.