Posted on 29. May 2014
by Konstantina Karydi
Citizens in Greece, once again demonstrated their support to the European project as well as their commitment to the values embedded in the EU. While the average participation rate in the EU is 43%, 59% of Greek citizens voted for the EP elections. “The Party of the European Left, led by Alexis Tsipras, President of the Greek party Syriza, was the winner of the elections in Greece with 26.5 %. This can be perceived both as a reactionary vote to the current government, as well as a vote of confidence to the EU.
Syriza, has been especially critical of the austerity policy approach as exercised in Greece and in other member states, but strongly supports European integration and advocates as member of the European Left, a more “democratic” EU, as they like to phrase it. In this sense, I would argue that the success of the European Left party in Greece is noteworthy, in a time when far-right parties came first in other member-states and when Greek citizens are still experiencing the consequences of the crisis.
However, the European elections in Greece, were, arguably, characterised by a significant paradox. The neo-nazi Golden Dawn, ranked third. Unfortunately, more than 9% of the Greek citizens who voted, seem to believe that the only way out is to punish the current political system, by rejecting it.
Last but not least it is important to reflect on the fact that 32% of the Greek electorate voted for the 36 smaller parties registered in Greece. Collectively, they are the winner of the election, however they are not represented due to the national elections’ system, which sets the 3% threshold, to enter the Parliament.
This article is a part of a series of reflections by young Europeans, prepared in cooperation between FutureLab and Süddeutsche Zeitung Online. To read the original click here.