By Nicky Dempsey
The outcome of the Greek election means that the population will face further attacks on its living standards and that the economic crisis will be prolonged. SYRIZA, the only party that might have been able to form an anti-austerity government, came second with less than 3 per cent of the vote behind the victorious New Democracy. Given the Greek system of 50 top-up seats for the leading party and with the support of both the traditional social democrats of PASOK and from the Democratic Left (a rightist split from SYRIZA) the new government will have a large majority in Parliament. Whether it will be able to form a stable government is another matter.
The Greek general election of June 17 will be closely watched by all the main political forces and classes in Europe. It marks the next phase in the struggle against the offensive to cut wages, public services and the incomes of the poor in order to restore profits.
Workers and the oppressed throughout the whole of Europe and beyond have a direct interest in a victory for those parties that oppose the current offensive.
By Najete Michell
At last Sarkozy has been defeated! A relief for the French population after 5 years of a huge Thatcher-like offensive against the French welfare state, and the daily injection of racist and Islamophobic poison.
However, despite the opposition to Sarkozy, Hollande only won by 51.6 per cent and with only 1.1 million more votes than Sarkozy – a narrow victory, especially compared to what the polls had previously predicted.
The outcome of the Greek elections represents a decisive popular break with the politics of austerity. Persistent mass mobilisations over several years since the crisis began have resulted in a crushing defeat for the traditionally dominant parties in Greek politics. Parties who in different ways claimed to be opposed to the terms of the Greek bailout won a majority. After a prolonged period in Europe in which ruling parties carrying out cuts have been dumped at the first electoral opportunity, this is the first time since the crisis began that any country has registered a majority vote for parties against austerity.
by Marie Dupont
The campaign for the 1st round of the presidential elections in France were marked by an unusually high level of volatility and instability as regards voting intentions. Polls showed trends which kept crossing and recrossing each other between Sarkozy and Hollande, as well as ‘third’ candidates. They also showed a high percentage of people not knowing how they would vote several days before the elections. Also 25% of peopled changed their minds on who to vote during the course of the campaign. Polls also indicated a high a level of expected abstention (30%) but in the end this was 20%.
The Front de Gauche (Left Front), an electoral coalition on the left, made a strong showing in the French Presidential election first round on Sunday 22 April. It secured 11.1 per cent of the vote, with more than 3.9 million votes. Its candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, led a dynamic campaign which drew large enthusiastic crowds to its rallies. He issued the following statement (on 23 April) following the announcement of the results.
Support for Sinn Féin continues to grow in the southern Irish state. In a poll commissioned for the Irish edition of The Sunday Times Sinn Féin is now standing at 25%, making it the second most popular party, with Gerry Adams now the most popular party leader in the country.
8pm Tuesday 28 February
Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, House of Commons, London SW1(Westminster Tube)
Speakers:Mary Lou McDonald TD, Vice President Sinn FéinPat Doherty MP.
By Frances Davis
Almost one year on from the general election in the southern Irish state, which saw the crushing defeat of the Fianna Fáil government and the election of a Fine Gael/Labour coalition, the Irish economy remains in deep crisis. Implementing the same austerity policies as the previous government, the devastating impact on living standards continues, in parallel to the effect of similar Tory policies in Britain.
Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner