Greek Political Parties Seeking Entry to Parliament on June 17
Following is a list of Greek political parties running for seats in parliament in the June 17 elections.
-- New Democracy (ND)
Led by Antonis Samaras, 61, New Democracy voted against the first European Union and International Monetary Fund bailout for Greece before supporting an interim government and voting for the second bailout this year. Samaras has pledged to lower taxes and renegotiate parts of the accords with the proposal of 18.5 billion euros ($23 billion) of alternative cuts. Founded in 1974, New Democracy won elections in 1974, 1977, 1990, 2004 and 2007 and received 18.9 percent of the vote in Greece’s last elections on May 6. Democratic Alliance, led by former Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyiannis, joined New Democracy after the May 6 elections, where it got 2.6 percent of the vote. Polls gave New Democracy from 22.7 percent to 26.1 percent of the vote, meaning it would have to form a coalition to get a majority in parliament.
-- Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left)
Led by Alexis Tsipras, 37, Syriza is an anti-bailout party which has pledged to cancel the country’s bailout agreement. It calls for increasing taxes for higher earners, delaying and cutting repayment of the country’s debt and trimming defense spending. Tsipras has proposed joining forces with the Communist Party of Greece and the Democratic Left -- a move the Communist Party has rejected -- to form a coalition after the elections. The party garnered 16.8 percent of the vote in Greece’s last elections. Syriza received between 20.1 and 31.5 percent of voter preferences in polls.
-- Pasok (PanHellenic Socialist Movement)
Led by Evangelos Venizelos, 55, Pasok is a pro-bailout party and was the ruling party when the first bailout was granted in May 2010. Founded in 1974 by Andreas Papandreou, Pasok governed in Greece from 1981 to 1989, from 1993 to 2004, and won the country’s previous national elections in 2009 with 43.9 percent of the vote. Venizelos, who became party leader after resigning as finance minister in March, has said he will cooperate with other parties to form a coalition government. Pasok received 13.2 percent of the vote in the May 6 elections. Polls have given Pasok between 9.9 percent and 15.5 percent of the vote.
-- Communist Party of Greece (KKE)
Led by Aleka Papariga, 66, KKE is an anti-bailout party. It is the oldest political party in Greece, founded in 1918. KKE is opposed to the austerity measures and bailout terms. It maintains Greece should leave the euro area, the EU and other international institutions. Papariga, whose party got 8.5 percent of the vote in the May 6 elections, has said she won’t cooperate with any other party to form a coalition government. KKE got 8.5 percent of the vote in May 6 elections. Polls have given KKE between 4 percent and 6.3 percent of the vote.
-- Democratic Left
Led by Fotis Kouvelis, 63, Democratic Left is a pro-Europe party that opposes the bailout measures in their current form. The party, founded in 2010, calls for large cuts in spending on defense, pharmaceuticals and public administration as well as higher taxes on businesses and banks to replace savings from wage or pension cuts. It says Greece needs to be given more time to balance its budget. Kouvelis has said his backing for an anti-bailout coalition depends on getting a guarantee to stay in the euro. Democratic Left got 6.1 percent of the vote in May 6 elections. Polls have given Democratic Left between 4.4 percent and 7.5 percent of the vote.
-- Independent Greeks
Led by Panos Kammenos, 47, Independent Greeks is an anti-bailout party created in February. The Independent Greeks have said Greece should renounce its debt and abolish the bailout agreement, staying within the euro at the same time. Kammenos, a former New Democracy lawmaker, has said he is willing to cooperate with other parties to form a coalition government if his party fails to gain a majority in parliament. Independent Greeks got 10.6 percent of the vote in the May 6 elections. Polls have given the Independent Greeks between 5.3 percent and 7.4 percent of the vote.
-- Golden Dawn (Laikos Syndesmos Chrysi Avgi)
Founded and led by Nikolaos Michaloliakos, born in 1957, this anti-bailout and nationalist party created in 1993 calls for the expulsion of all illegal immigrants and for borders to be protected by land mines. The party received 7 percent of the votes in the May 6 elections, entering parliament for the first time. Golden Dawn calls for the evaluation and partial reneging of all public debts since 1974, the nationalization of banks, the halting of all state funding to political parties and the immediate start of drilling exploration activities for oil and natural gas. Polls have given Golden Dawn between 3.8 percent and 5.5 percent of the vote.
-- Drassi, Recreate Greece Coalition
After the country’s May 6 national elections, Drassi, led by Stefanos Manos, 73, and Recreate Greece, led by Thanos Tzimeros, born in 1961, formed a coalition. Both parties are pro-European, support structural reforms and call for less government and the acceleration of privatizations and real estate development to pay down the country’s debt. Recreate Greece and Drassi failed to get enough support to enter the parliament in the country’s latest elections in May. Recreate Greece got 2.1 percent of the vote and Drassi got 1.8 percent of the vote, less than the 3 percent threshold. Polls give the two parties’ coalition between 1.5 and 3 percent of the vote.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at email@example.com