Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Utopian Left-Wing Expectations and the Social Consequences of the 3rd Memorandum in Greece

Kotroyannos, Dimitrios and Tzagarakis, Stelios and Mavrozacharakis, Emmanouil and Kamekis, Apostolos (2017): Utopian Left-Wing Expectations and the Social Consequences of the 3rd Memorandum in Greece. Published in: European Quarterly of Political Attitudes and Mentalities - EQPAM , Vol. 2017, No. Volume 6, No.2, (1 April 2017): pp. 55-66.

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Abstract

In January 2015 the radical left SYRIZA has won the Greek national elections and formed a coalition government with Independent Greeks (ANEL), a right-wing populist party. After a seven-month negotiation with Greece’s creditors and the agreement for the implementation of a third memorandum of fiscal adjustment, SYRIZA announced the conduction of a second round of national elections in September 2015. After a second electoral victory, SYRIZA formed again a coalition government with ANEL. The main characteristic of SYRIZA’s pre-electoral campaign was that it has primarily focused on the commitment for austerity measures termination and on the implementation of tax alleviation. Even during the second electoral campaign in September 2015, after the agreement for the implementation of the third memorandum of fiscal adjustment, SYRIZA was promising that its implementation will be socially endued in order to reduce negative social consequences, such as those created by the previous memoranda. Practically though, after the first months of the new memorandum implementation, it is obvious that the government has introduced an unprecedented tax policy. Interestingly, this policy is not different from a traditional left logic of tax enforcement but actually leads to the implementation of horizontal austerity policies which firstly affect the socially vulnerable groups. From this point of view, while SYRIZA emphatically declare that it aims at resolving the crisis, its policies seem to deepen the depression. For instance, its inability to find alternative options to finance the social security system, leads to the implementation of restrictive policies which dismantle the welfare state. This paper aims at analyzing the policies of the first left government in Greece by focusing on the tentative social consequences of the third memorandum and at the same time, studying some of the basic factors for its electoral victory, such as populism.

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