by Daycaf Magazine



As it turns out, SYRIZA, who was the main radical left-opposition party in Greece won yesterday’s European Parliament elections—with 26.6%, ahead of Neoliberal and Eurocentric incumbents New Democracy, who mustered 22.1% and split EP seats with SYRIZA, the ultranationalist Golden Dawn and center-left Elia. The intriguing dynamism of the Greek’s conscious refusal of austerity and complacency.  What this implies is that if Greeks will wind up staying in the EU at all, their intent is to radically alter the ways the EU functions.


Now, as hard as it is for some to imagine that Greece would return to the Drachma, their relationship with the EU is frayed at best. It seems that it is in neither the best interest of most Greeks who voted on Sunday, nor in the best interest of the the EU to maintain the tug of war  between Greek Anti-Austeriy, and its mortal enemy, Neoliberalism. With six MEP seats, this win represents what SYRIZA lawmaker Panagotis Lafazanis describes as, ““The first time in Greece’s political history that a party of the radical left wins an election with a real margin. The result of the Greek election brings hope to the country and is positive for Europe.” 

More broadly the anti-EU and eurosceptic movements gain traction and power. The GUE/NGL European United Left/Nordic Green Left coalition which SYRIZA and other radical left European Parties are a part of have grown to 43 seats, as have the message of strong anti-austerity. This may be an important turn in the EU, towards stronger national sovereignty and away from the German-centic Neoliberal policies that have destroyed the working infrastructure across Greece, Italy, Spain and beyond. 



national front

Sunday was not just a success story for the radical left. Neo-Nazis and Ultranationalists of all colors made sweeping wins across Europe, from France’s strongly anti-muslim Front National, which won a quarter of the country’s EP votes, to the Danish People’s Party, winning 27%, whose leader, responding to Swedish criticism said, “If they want to turn Stockholm, Gothenburg or Malmö into a Scandinavian Beirut, with clan wars, honour killings and gang rapes, let them do it. We can always put a barrier on the Øresund Bridge.” The Golden Dawn, whose officials are in and out prison for organizing violent activity against immigrants, actually jumped from fourth to third place, with a solid 9.4% of the votes. This paints a very grim picture of some of the growing populist movements across the EU.

golden dawn

On the other hand, these nationalist parties happen to align themselves with the radical left in their mutual commitment to Eurosceptism and Anti-Austerity. As ironic as it may seem, SYRIZA organizers across Greece have attempted to pan themselves to, and draw in Golden Dawn supporters. These alliances present serious trouble for the traditional Neoliberal agenda that the EU and its Parliament have held. More broadly, we might see a more decentralized EU, and one that could allow for the Greeks, Italians, Spanish who have lost access to jobs and higher education to return to the lives they lived before…




After Sunday’s exciting turnout, SYRIZA’s electrifying young leader Alexis Tsipras, called for Early General Elections in Greece, long ahead of the scheduled vote in June 2016. Tsipras is in fact running for the EU Parliament Presidency, backed by the radical left GUE/NGL coalition.

Both the European Commission and its President are both voted by the European Parliament. While Tsipras would make for one of the most controversial EC Presidents, his chance of winning among a group of Neoliberal bankers is unlikely. This underdog would become the actualization the sentiment Tsipras’ friend and supporter, Slavoj Žižek, posits in the title of his book, First as Tragedy, Then as Farce. The European landscape, which is marked by extreme turbulence, rampant unemployment, bond and stock deflation, and repugnant attacks and murders of immigrants and refugees can be seen only as a the pure tragedy of the EU. And at the same time, farcical as it may seem, perhaps the only solution the EU has is an overwhelming amount of anti-EU membership to wrangle the reign of Neoliberalism.


Reading the EU elections, particularly the outcome in Greece, as a public mandate, Tsipras is likely maneuvering his way to becoming the next Greek Prime Minister, where his chances of success and public support are greater. As support wanes for Samaras of ND, and grows both for SYRIZA and the Golden Dawn, we may be entering a new era of European populism and possibly a clearer path towards the ends of austerity. At the same time, it is truly unclear how the radical left and the radical right will cooperate on issues like immigration, which is often locked into the discourse of jobs. Perhaps these parties might bizarrely wind up having to work together to accomplish similar resolutions the austerity that has left Greece reeling for the last five years…