Democratic Left (Greece)

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Democratic Left
Abbreviation DIMAR
Leader Thanasis Theocharopoulos
Founded 27 June 2010
Split from Synaspismós
Headquarters Plateia Viktorias 5,
10 434 Athens
Ideology Democratic socialism[1]
Social democracy[1][2]
Pro-Europeanism[3][4][5]
Political position Centre-left[6][7] to
Left-wing[4]
International affiliation None
European affiliation None
European Parliament group No MEPs
Parliament
0 / 300
European Parliament
0 / 22
Regions[8]
31 / 725
Website
www.dimokratikiaristera.gr
Politics of Greece
Political parties
Elections

Democratic Left (Greek: Δημοκρατική Αριστερά - ΔΗΜ.ΑΡ., Dimokratiki Aristera, DIMAR) is a social-democratic[9][10] political party in Greece.

History[edit]

Foundation[edit]

DIMAR was founded on 27 June 2010 when the Renewal Wing platform of the left-wing party Coalition of Left, of Movements and Ecology (Synaspismós), a component of the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza), among them MPs Fotis Kouvelis, Thanasis Leventis, Nikos Tsoukalis, and Grigoris Psarianos - exited Synaspismós at its 6th congress. They were joined by more than 550 individuals.[11] At a subsequent national conference of the Renewal Wing, 170 members were elected to national policy committee of the new party.[12]

The first conference of DIMAR was held on 31 March - 3 April 2011. It elected Fotis Kouvelis as the party's leader with 97.31% of the vote.[13]

On 22 March 2012, six MPs from the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) joined the party,[14] which raised the number of Democratic Left MPs to 10, the party was eligible to form a parliamentary group.[15] The minor party Free Citizens also joined the Democratic Left on 22 March 2012.

2012 elections and governing coalition[edit]

In the May 2012 legislative election DIMAR received 386,116 votes (6.1%) and elected 19 MPs in the Greek Parliament, making it the seventh biggest party in the Hellenic Parliament. In the June 2012 legislative election, the DIMAR won 6.3% of the vote and 17 seats, making it the sixth largest party by seat count. It joined the Samaras cabinet with New Democracy (ND) and PASOK.

In November 2012, the party decided to vote abstained/present to the labor market reform and "Midterm fiscal plan 2013-16" as part of the sixth austerity package negotiated with the Troika,[16][17] while they cast a supportive vote for the "Fiscal budget 2013".[18] As the party did not vote directly against the crucial reforms, it was afterwords possible to continue being a part of the three-party coalition government with New Democracy and PASOK. Following this political line however came at the price. Three of its MPs voted against the party line on the reforms, and consequently were asked to leave the party, thus reducing the party's number of MPs from 17 to 14. Democratic Left’s political charter has no paragraphs enabling for the exclusion of MPs from the party, but the three MPs being asked to leave were expected to follow the request, as they fundamentally disagreed with the party's political line.[19][20]

In April 2013, two former Democratic Left MPs, Odysseas Voudouris and Paris Moutsinas, were expelled from DIMAR's parliamentary group after having voted against the coalition government's seventh austerity package.[21] They announced to form a new party, stating in a letter to party leader Fotis Kouvelis that their former party had "mutated" into a centrist one.[22]

Back in opposition[edit]

On 21 June 2013, DIMAR left the governing coalition with ND and PASOK in protest of the unilateral closure of the state broadcasting corporation, Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) which was opposed by both DIMAR and PASOK.[23] The withdrawal left Samaras with a tiny majority with 153 New Democracy/PASOK MPs.[24]

In the 2014 European elections, DIMAR's vote collapsed, with the party receiving less than one fifth of the popular support it had in the national elections two years before (1.20%, down from 6.25%) and failing to win any seats in the European Parliament.

2015 election[edit]

On 4 January 2015 DIMAR announced it would contest the January 2015 legislative election in cooperation with the Greens.[25] In the election, the joint electoral list received a mere 0.49% of the vote, thus failing to return any DIMAR MPs to the Hellenic Parliament.[26]

Election results[edit]

Hellenic Parliament[edit]

Hellenic Parliament
Date Votes Seats Position Size Notes
#  % ± pp # ±
05/2012 386,394 6.1%
19 / 300
Opposition 7th
06/2012 384,986 6.2% Increase0.1
17 / 300
Decrease2 Government 6th opposition from 2013
01/2015 30,074 0.5% Decrease5.7
0 / 300
Decrease17 13th

European Parliament[edit]

European Parliament
Date Votes Seats Size
#  % ± pp # ±
2014 68,873 1.2%
0 / 21
10th

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram, "Greece", Parties and Elections in Europe, retrieved 15 March 2012 
  2. ^ Richard Clogg (12 December 2013). A Concise History of Greece. Cambridge University Press. p. 259. ISBN 978-1-107-03289-7. 
  3. ^ Gilson, George (18 December 2011), "The rise of the left", Athens News, retrieved 25 February 2012 
  4. ^ a b Mac Con Uladh, Damian (3 November 2011), "Where Greece stands", Irish Times, retrieved 15 March 2012 
  5. ^ Malkoutzis, Nick (November 2011), The Greek Crisis and the Politics of Uncertainty (PDF), Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, retrieved 15 March 2012 
  6. ^ Claudia Wiesner; Mieke Schmidt-Gleim (3 January 2014). The Meanings of Europe: Changes and Exchanges of a Contested Concept. Routledge. p. 164. ISBN 978-1-134-45845-5. 
  7. ^ Erol Külahci (1 May 2012). Europeanisation and Party Politics: How the EU affects Domestic Actors, Patterns and Systems. ECPR Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-1-907301-22-3. 
  8. ^ The counselors of the Regions.
  9. ^ Eleni Panagiotarea (30 July 2013). Greece in the Euro: Economic Delinquency or System Failure?. ECPR Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-907301-53-7. 
  10. ^ Nicolas Demertzis (31 October 2013). Emotions in Politics: The Affect Dimension in Political Tension. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 123. ISBN 978-1-137-02566-1. 
  11. ^ "Syriza split creates new party", Kathimerini English Edition, 10 June 2010.
  12. ^ Τα 170 μέλη της Πανελλαδικής Πολιτικής Επιτροπής
  13. ^ "Εκλογή Κουβέλη στην προεδρία της Δημοκρατικής Αριστεράς (Kouvelis elected president of Democratic Left)" (in Greek). Kathimerini. 3 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "Στη ΔΗΜΑΡ, 6 πρώην βουλευτές του ΠΑΣΟΚ (6 ex-PASOK MP's to DIMAR)" (in Greek). Eleftheros Typos. 20 March 2012. 
  15. ^ "Arrival of new MPs gives Democratic Left parliamentary group". Kathimerini. 22 March 2012. 
  16. ^ "Greek Parliament passes new austerity package with tiny majority". Kathimerini (English edition). 8 November 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  17. ^ "Ναι" στο πολυνομοσχέδιο από τη Βουλή (in Greek). Kathimerini. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 8 November 2012. 
  18. ^ "Greek coalition wins budget vote comfortably, waits for loan tranche". Kathimerini (English edition). 12 November 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  19. ^ "Democratic Left MP leaves party, goes independent". Athens24.com. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
  20. ^ "Upheaval in coalition parties after departures". Kathimerini (English edition). 8 November 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2012. 
  21. ^ "Small majority for austerity raises big doubts (in English)". Athens News. 24 March 2013. Retrieved 24 March 2014. 
  22. ^ "Former Democratic Left MPs announce new movement". enetenglish.gr. 1 April 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  23. ^ Smith, Helena (21 June 2013). "Democratic Left withdraws from Greek coalition government". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 23 June 2013. 
  24. ^ http://www.ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_21/06/2013_505319
  25. ^ ""Πράσινοι - Δημοκρατική Αριστερά" το ψηφοδέλτιο της ΔΗΜΑΡ". 4 January 2015. 
  26. ^ http://ekloges.ypes.gr/current/v/public/index.htm

External links[edit]