Σάββατο 20 Απριλίου 2024
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Editorial Ta Nea: Populism

Editorial Ta Nea: Populism

The current major geopolitical and economic challenges have unfortunately once again brought populism to the fore in many Western societies.

In the 6 June, 2012 general election, centre-left PASOK lost 119 parliamentary seats (in the 300-member legislature), finishing third, and SYRIZA gained 39-seats, leaving behind its marginalisation and becoming the main opposition party.

New Democracy garnered the lowest percentage since its founding in 1974, just 18.8 percent.

It was in that election that populism for the first time ended up being the big winner.

In the period before 17 June, the fear that SYRIZA’s supposed radical leftist agenda imperilled Greece’s future in the EU influenced public opinion.

Thus, logic prevailed over emotion. SYRIZA’s gains were a Pyrrhic victory. However, the party – due to its ungrounded as it turned out grandiose promises (it said its first act as a left-wing government if it came to power would be to annul the country’s bailout memorandum and to rescind the laws implementing it) – laid the groundwork for its rise to power.

The last decade was the heyday of populists, followed by voters’ inevitable return to a comprehension of reality.

On the surface, it would appear we became wiser from our harsh collective experiences.

SYRIZA’s defeat in the 2019 general election and the low polling numbers it has garnered until now, the obliteration of its coalition partner (Panos Kammenos’ right-wing populist Independent Greek party), and the outlawing of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, all suggest that we learned the hard way.

Is it, however, really so?

The current major geopolitical and economic challenges have unfortunately once again brought populism to the fore in many Western societies. An expansive investigative report in today’s issue of Ta Nea aims to explain why.

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Σάββατο 20 Απριλίου 2024