Can a New Alliance of Greece’s Center-Left Resurrect the Old Dominance of PASOK?

Can a New Alliance of Greece’s Center-Left Resurrect the Old Dominance of PASOK?
A supporter of PASOK attends a rally in central Athens' Syntagma Square, Greece, May 4, 2012 (AP photo by Thanassis Stavrakis).

On Nov. 19, Greek primary voters elected Fofi Gennimata to head a new alliance of the fractured center-left that was once united by the dominant PASOK party. Using an open primary system, four parties allowed all Greek citizens to choose from a slate of candidates competing for the authority to decide what the new unified party would look like. In an email interview, Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos, an associate professor of political science at the University of Athens, describes what gave rise to the alliance of center-left parties, how it will contend with the radical left Syriza party that leads the government, and what issues to look out for ahead of the next Greek parliamentary elections.

WPR: What was behind the recent alliance of parties on the center-left, and how was an open primary used to form a new party under the PASOK umbrella?

Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos: It was only eight years ago that the center-left, represented exclusively by Greece’s socialist party, PASOK, obtained 44 percent of the total vote in the parliamentary elections and formed a single-party majority government. With the onset of the economic crisis that hit Greece extremely hard in 2010, however, PASOK began to fall apart with defections of parliamentary deputies and the fragmentation of the center-left into splinter parties. While most of the blame for the economic crisis can be laid at the feet of the economic policies of the center-right New Democracy party, which governed from 2004 to 2009, PASOK is also on the hook given its prolonged term in government. With the exception of 1990 to 1993, when the center-right was in power, PASOK governed Greece from 1981 to 2004, and was again in power in the winter of 2009, on the eve of the economic crisis.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.