challenges to Greek democracy – recent updates



media coverage of the Syriza victory 25 Jan 2015:

assessing Syriza’s first month in office

NYT; EUobserver; reactions from across Europe (FT); Q&As (FT); Transform!; The Conversation; on implications for changes to Greek politicla culture; on profile of new cabinet; discussion of implications; overview of immediate post-election votes against austerity; Blyth and Ban – democracy and anti-austerity; Moschonas on rise of SyrizaJoschka Fischer; Hollande and Renzi display (limited) support;  pamphlet produced by the Greek politics specialist groupRed Pepper on peer-to-peer populism; on implications for UK left; Varoufakis blog; on making a debt deal palatable to Germany; influence of british academia; first meetign with Eurozone finance chief; Varoufakis adopts confronataional approach; Paul Mason on giving Troika marching orders; France and US support Greece in debt debate; flip flop on meeting with Troika; Eurozone alarm grows; Italian support

Another Varoufakis interview

prospects for Syriza? (Dec 2013) – and article here on Syriza: Stavrakakis, Y. and Katsambekis, G. (2014) ‘Left-wing populism in the European periphery: the case of SYRIZA’, Journal of Political Ideologies 19(2): 119-42;

Report on 1st Congress of Syriza (2013)

The Decline of Party Democracy and the rise of Cartel Parties?

mapping the Greek party system (Feb 2015) and discussion piece here on massive change to Greek political culture since crisis (MArch 2015)

discussion of 25 Jan 2015 elections in terms of indication of changes to Greek party system (15.1.15); and overview of parties leading up to 2015 election

Greek coalition wins vote of confidence, but Syriza still looks set to win next election (Oct 2014) – and discussion here on why Syriza win would be terrible (Dec 2014)

on cartelisation in Greece

Syriza win EP election and call for national general election (June 2014)

rise of new To Potami party (April 2014)

increased fringe voting in Greece (discussion article Feb 2014)

Golden Dawn stripped of state funding and more here and here

collapse of old party system as a result of crisis

Centre-left and ‘Pasokification’

academic articles:

Karyotis, G. and Rüdig, W., 2015, ‘Blame and Punishment? The Electoral Politics of Extreme Austerity in Greece’, Political Studies 63(1): 2-24.



Tsipras wins vote against Left Platform (May 2015) and here

on Golden Dawn trial (May 2015) – and Explaining the rise of Golden Dawn

discussion of some of the key people (other than Tsipras and Varoufakis) in Syriza (Apr 2015)

EU officials want Syriza to ditch far-left (Apr 2015)

discussions of Syriza leading up to Jan 25 2015 election: Syriza takes aim at Greek oligarchs; Syriza a mainstream party; on radicalisation of lower-middle class as basis for Syriza success

on Syriza: here and here  and here and on their prospects for entering government; FT on the December  2014 snap election and Syriza, and surging ahead in polls (Jan 2015) and on how Greeks want independence (ready to vote out mainstream parties); on Syriza’s chief economist – John Milios; economic programmediscussion of Syriza’s anti-austerity programme – Owen Jones; different political positions – Counterfire, Lapavitsas, Red Pepper, Varoufakis on need to de-escalate; Socilaist Party: Varoufakis’ “erratic Marxism” is not the answer; discussion here on some of the options facing Sriza

map of Greek radical left

the story behind Golden Dawn’s success (June 2014)

on prospects for Golden Dawn in EP (May 2014)

legal immunity lifted for Greek far right (8.5.14)

on rise of Golden Dawn and EP elections (March 2014)

discussion of rise of and socio-economic context for Golden Dawn (March 2014)

Golden Dawn MPs stripped of parliamentary immunity (18.10.13) and state funding

on infiltration of Greek police by Golden Dawn

austerity to blame for rise of far right? (4.10.13)

Paul Mason discussing police response to Golden Dawn (1.10.13)

collapse of Golden Dawn? (1.10.13)

Golden Dawn stabbing and protests (18.9.13)

academic articles:

Lamprianou, Iasonas ; Ellinas, Antonis A., 2017, ‘Institutional Grievances and Right-Wing Extremism : Voting for Golden Dawn in Greece‘, South European society and politics, 22(1): 43-60.

Ellinas, A.A., 2015, ‘Neo-Nazism in an established democracy: The persistence of Golden Dawn in Greece’, South European Society and Politics 20(1): 1-20.

Kouvelakis, S., 2016, ‘Syriza’s Rise and Fall’, New Left Review 97.

Myrto Tsakatika (2016) SYRIZA’s Electoral Rise in Greece: Protest, Trust and the Art of Political Manipulation, South European Society and Politics, 21:4, 519-540, DOI: 10.1080/13608746.2016.1239671

Welfare state – more recent here

on austerity and alternative forms of social provision (June 2015)

Pension reform becomes stumbling block (May 2015)

on implications of Syriza victory for health policy (Jan 2015)

special issue on welfare state, austerity, and crisis in Southern Europe

impact of financial crisis on Greek welfare state

discussion of negative effects of public sector reductions in staff and wage bill (August 2014)

impact of Greek spending cuts on health (Feb 2014)

academic articles

Angelaki, M. and Carrera, L.N. (2015) ‘Radical Pension Reforms after the Crisis: A Comparative Analysis of Argentina and Greece’ ,Politics and Policy 43(3): 378-400. Available here.

Varieties of capitalism

on limits to reform of Greek capitalism (June 2015) – and here on reversal of Greek cleaners concession and need for reforms of small businesses post-July deal with EU

how industry is responding to crisis (May 2015)

impact of crisis on solidarity and inequality (report Mar 2015)

Political participation – more recent updates here

Greek cleaning ladies fighting back against austerity (Dec 2014)

role of civil society during crisis

academic articles

Steinfort, L., Hendrikx, B. and Pijpers, R., 2017, ‘Communal performativity – A seed for change? The solidarity of Thessaloniki’s Social Movements in the Diverse Fights Against Neoliberalism’, Antipode 49(5): 1446-63. HERE

article – who protests in Greece: mass opposition to austerity 


The Comparative Politics of the Global Economic Crisis


academic article here setting out key austerity measures imposed on Greece throughout crisis

opposition from Left Platform – see here interview with one of the leading members of the faction:

Greece restarts creditor negotiations

rebel Syriza MPs ejected from cabinet – and further threat to Syriza majority

and risk of split

passes second set of reforms through parliamentdelay to increase in farmers’ taxes

comment pieces: risk of rise of radical right?; real defeat was for European solidarity; Varoufakis on Germany’s motivation to scare rest of Europe; Tsipras statement; humiliation for European democracy;

13 July 2015 deal finally done with EU (negotiations included the mooting of a temporary timeout) – text of the Eurosummit statement (and a version here annotated by Varoufakis) – includes climbdown and agreement that EU will have control over significant section of Greek spending; exposes political faultlines within EU; parliament has earlier backed austerity proposal (although it’s not clear whether they’ll also back the one now agreed , especially as Syriza looks set for rebellino in parliament – – but eventually they do (with members of Syriza defecting) , despite criticisms of the deal by the IMF and of Merkel’s excessively aggressive negotiating strategy – in which Greece only had 3 allies). Detailed description of negotiations here – and details of UK opposition (which failed) to initial part of bailout – Lapavitsas argues for Grexit – new deal sees undoing of lots of earlier achievements (e.g. the Greek cleaners)

Tsipras backs down – but then apparently doesn’t and continues to call for no vote in referendum (all on same day – 1.715) – and Germany/EU refuse to speak to Greece until after referendum, apparently in revenge – Varoufakis promises to resign if Greece votes yes; IMF says Greece needs €60 aid; Varoufakis resigns anyway – failed attempt to block the referendum through the courrts – and here is the transcript of interview immediately afterewards – ends up with a no vote – good report on survey results on demographics of voters in referendum

midnight 30 JUne 2015 – deadline expires – 9 things to know about the default

Greece calls creditors proposal absurd, especially on pensions – Tsipras announces referendum (referendum website here)- markets take it badly – EU refuses to delay deadline of 30 June, making Grexit very likely – prompts run on Greek banks, and need for capital controls and ATM limits

Late June 2015 – yet more brinkmanship: main sticking point remains pensions cuts sought by creditors (25.6.15); businesses going bankrupt under strain and Chinese investors becoming wary and looks like potential for bank run; and discussions postponed again and here (Dutch PM moots Grexit if no deal reached); and potential mutiny from Syriza party members if a deal includes austerity and here, and also opposition from countries’ youth mounting

Varoufakis gives speech on the state of negeotiations and how we got here (8.6.15)

IMF pulls out of negotiations (11.6.15) and here here  – and creates further instability as talks appear to be moving towards default/Grexit – IMF frustrated; Tsipras accuses creditors of “pillaging” Greece ; ECB says it has no plan to force default/collapse, although recognises situation is “dramatic” and accuses Athens of lying; Michael Roberts on prospects and implications of Grexit; clashes between central and local govt. as cash requirements become desparate; FT discusses the possibility of a return to contagion; and majority of Germans favour Grexit

discussion of how Greece’s creditors should have been more lenient

reception of next proposal (10.6.15) – another meetings with leaders fails to reach agreement (11.6.15) – and discussion of money leaving Greek banks

neoliberal critique of Athens and Brussels – i.e. stop worrying about a Grexit and let them leave if the lazy scroungers want to continue to be poor…

Tsipras rejects deal (5.6.15), here, here, here (in part due to dissent within Syriza) and despite Draghi’s call for “social fairness” – and Juncker expresses anger (and here) – as does German ruling coalition and Obama/here – Greece counters with proposal for debt relief – and discussion on here on the toing and froing

IMF/EU agree deal to present to Greece (3.6.15) – and discussion of how opponents of Greece have unified

Syriza demands (and gets) withdrawal of Tsipras’ choice of IMF negotiator (June 2015)

Critique of overly-excessive conditionality

Tsipras accuses bailout monitors of making ‘absurd’ demands (31.5.15) and here and here

on why Grexit wouldn’t be a disaster

leaked Junker plan suggests attempts to avoid default (May 2015)

Coming soon: The Angela-Christine Show – Can the German chancellor and International Monetary Fund chief find a Greece solution that pleases their own restless constituencies? & Eurogroup keeps alive hopes of deal

Tsipras writes to Lagaard over inability to pay – and here on how it accesses IMF funds to pay IMF – Tsipras sticks to “no more austerity” line (May 2015)

Coming soon: The Angela-Christine Show – Can the German chancellor and International Monetary Fund chief find a Greece solution that pleases their own restless constituencies?

Greece hits replayment deadline (11.5.15) – at same time as Syriza reverses public sector sackings that formed part of earlier bailout conditions

IMF moves to end bailout payment (5.5.15) (and here)

new neogitating team to meet in Brussels (1.5.15); struggles to pay pensions (30.4.15) discussion of this latest stage in teh endgame (Apr 2015); change to negotiating team (Varoufakis dropped) and here and here; breakdown in finance ministeres discussion (26.4.15) – and discussion of fallout and how Greece lost its last friend (France)

Lagarde and Moscovici both make it clear there’s no option of debt cancellation for Greece – reforms necessary in order to avoid Grexit – leading to a last-minute bust-up between Varoufakis and the other foreign ministers (24 Apr 2015); and a good Jacobin analysis of the stalemate/brinkmanship situation here

more brinkmanship over repayment of debt (apr 2015) – preparing to default on debt to IMF – on attempts to avoid brinkmanship

list of reforms submitted (and here); discussion here and on willingness to reform

impact of crisis on solidarity and inequality (report Mar 2015)

opinion piece arguing for Greece to be flexible (March 2015)

ECB tightens constraints on lending to Greece; but claims this isn’t blackmail (March 2015) – looking desparate for short-term cash – but just about able to pay pensions (for this month) and again for April

EU urges Greece to submit list of (austerity) reforms (20 MArch 2015) – and reports suggest he is willing to do so – this is despite earlier introduction of anti-poverty measures which angered creditors; ECB moves to cuts off additional sources of debt to government;  Syriza economic adviser (Milios) resigns over concessions granted to EU (20 March 2015); Merkel makes clear aid is conditional on reforms – but Greece drags feet on providing list of reforms

Greece gets 4 extra months (20 Feb 2015) – and details of 4-month extension deal  and more indepth discupssion; faces clahses with protesters – but deal gets approved by Bundestag (see here too ) – and Varoufakis states a new deal will need to be negotiated (1 March 2015); government running short of cash (10 March 2015); discussion here on stalemate

4-month extension deal looks likely (23 Feb 2015)  + discussion + billed as cave-in, which is contested by Transform!

first bailout talks collapse (Feb 2015)

discussion of Greek case for austerity politics in general ; Munchau’s take

ECB launches first strike against Syriza government (Feb 2015) (more here) (comment here) (FT Q&A here) – Greek/German disagreement on what to do (Feb 2015) and more and discussison of possibilty of Greek/German deal here; Kaltesky on negotiation strategy; bailout talks breakdwon (12.2.15)

unveiling of Greek debt proposal (Feb 2015) and more here – here on Tsipras optimistic  a deal can be reached

on implications of Syriza win (Jan 2015) for Greek debt and relations with EU: Eurozone leaders reject debt relief demands; on implications for financial markets; claim that half debt needs to be written off (by ex IMF official); Commission official warn Syriza to stick to debt agreements 

various recent (early 2015) discussions on need for debt relief for Greece: discussion: Greek debt not unsustainable (FT, Jan 2015); on prospects for Greece and Grexit (and need to write off debt) (FT, Jan 2015); Paul de Grauwe (Jan 2015); size of debt suggests the scale of any relief would be limited; Finland emerges as main opponent of debt relief (Jan 2015)

failure to elect president results in snap general election (dec 29 2014) (IMF puts bailout discussions on hold) and discussion here and here; popular impatience with austerity; Germany warns Greece to stick to reforms regardless of who wins election – discussion here on clash between Greece and Germany; attempts by Syriza to calm investor fears

government announces snap presidential elections (Dec 2014) – video analysis here on why decision was taken –  Greek stockmarket sees worst ever one-day fall (13%) (and here) and also spooks international markets; related to 2-month extension of bailoutdiscussion of snap election here from EU Commission perspective – and discussion on how this reflects ongoing crisis affecting Greece and more discussion here and here – Juncker opposes non-mainstream, as does Moscovici (Dec 2014) – Dimas falls on first attempt (Dec 17 2014) – Samaras proposes to bring forward parliamentary elections, and include independent MPs in new government (Dec 22 2014) – but still fails to win in second round (23.12.14) – discussion of why Greek crisis is less threat to Eurozone than it was in 2012

role of civil society during crisis

Greece returns to growth (2014 Q3)

IMF warns against early exit from bailout (oct 2014), Greece wants out, but EU divided (Germany opposed to early exit); popular pressure on Greece to exit bailout ahead of 2015 election (Nov 2014)

special issue on welfare state, austerity, and crisis in Southern Europe

special issue on crisis in Southern Europe

good overview of austerity/debt politics in Greece, and a recent negotiations with Troika (Sep 2014)

Samaras moves to cut taxes (Sep 2014)

article on discourses of austerity

state wage bill cut by one-third over past 5 years (July 2014)

disruptive impact of strikes on HE (July 2014)

Greek workers face arrest for being on strike (July 2014)

growth returns after 6 years, unemployment remains at 26.7% (July 2014)

legal opposition to Greek welfare cuts (June 2014)

next bailout “only” €10bn (May 2014)

Greece plans lower corporate tax (April 2014) and reports first pre-interest fiscal surplus since crisis (23.4.14)

report of social impact of austerity measures (March 2014)

Greece reaches deal on aid and structural reforms – in face of opposition from local interest groups (18.3.14) and this  is confirmed in parliament and more details here and Eurozone ministers agree bailout (further details here)

special issue of South European Society and Politics on Greek and Italian politics in the crisis (2013)

stand-off with Troika over banking sector (25.2.14)

update on Troika negotiations (18.2.14)

impact of Greek spending cuts on health (Feb 2014)

JCMS article on Greek responses to the crisis (2014)

Increased pressure on Greece from EU (28.1.14)

U-turn on salary cuts (22.1.14)

EU rules out low interest rates for Greece (6.1.14)

Govt. more assertive towards Troika (9.12.13) and legislature passes 2014 budget

Greece passes budget without Troika approval (22.11.13)

Greek government survives vote of no confidence (11.11.13)

Greece criticised for dragging heels on reforms (15.11.13)

on Greek deflation (8.11.13)

Getting to Greece: Uncertainty, Misfortune, and the Origins of Political Disorder – 2012 article on Greece and crisis

further international pressure on Greek ‘fiscal gap’ (17.10.13)

collapse of old party system as a result of crisis

Discussion of possible third Greek bailout (21.08.13)

and confirmation of bailout by Eurogroup chief (6.9.13)


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