The River (Greece)

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The River
Το Ποτάμι
Leader Stavros Theodorakis
Founded 26 February 2014 (2014-02-26)[1]
Ideology Centrism[2]
Social liberalism[3]
Social democracy[4]
Political position Centre to Centre-left
European affiliation None
European Parliament group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats[5]
Colours Red, blue
Parliament
6 / 300
European Parliament
2 / 21
Regions[6]
0 / 725
Website
topotami.gr
Journalist Stavros Theodorakis, founder of To Potami

The River (Greek: Το Ποτάμι, translit. To Potami, IPA: [to poˈtami]) is a centrist[7][8] and social-liberal[9] political party in Greece. The party was founded in February 2014 by Stavros Theodorakis. The party has two MEPs in the European Parliament and six seats in the Hellenic Parliament (down from the 11 elected in the last election).

History[edit]

Party foundation[edit]

The party was launched on 11 March 2014 in Athens by TV presenter Stavros Theodorakis.[1][10]

2014 European Parliament election[edit]

In April 2014 representatives of The River met the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and with representatives of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and The Greens–European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) parliamentary groups.[11]

In the 2014 European Parliament election held on 25 May 2014, the party received 6.6% of the national vote and the mandate to elect two MEPs, Giorgos Grammatikakis and Miltos Kyrkos.

On 27 May 2014, the two incoming MEPs announced their decision to sit with the S&D group in the European Parliament, whose intake included two MEPs from the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK),[5][12] citing the group's commitment to "tackling the recession and unemployment in Greece and the South in general",[13] while ruling out joining the Party of European Socialists.[14]

2015 legislative elections[edit]

On 24 December 2014, the newly founded party Reformers for Democracy and Development of former Democratic Left (DIMAR) MP Spyros Lykoudis announced an alliance with The River.[15]

On 5 January 2015, the Liberal Alliance party suspended talks about a joint electoral list with The River after the participation of Liberal Alliance's president Gregory Vallianatos had reportedly been ruled out by The River officials.[16] Later, The River's leader Theodorakis and Theodoros Skylakakis, the leader of the liberal party Drasi, gave a joint press conference announcing a joint electoral list for the forthcoming legislative election.[17][18]

In the January 2015 legislative election on 25 January 2015 The River received 6.1% of the electoral vote, finishing fourth place with a mandate for 17 seats in the Hellenic Parliament. In the aftermath of the election party leader Theodorakis stressed that Greece needed to avoid another snap election,[19] and while ready to talk with SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras about forming a coalition government,[20] he said they wouldn't support any coalition that includes anti-European forces.[19] The River became part of the parliamentary opposition to the governing first Tsipras cabinet.

In the second election of the year, the September 2015 legislative election on 20 September 2015, the party received a reduced vote count of 4.1%, receiving 11 seats,[21] remaining in opposition.

Resignations[edit]

On 19 April 2016, Yiannis Theoharis resigned from To Potami's parliamentary group.[22]

On 18 October 2016, Iasonas Fotilas was expelled from the party.[23]

On 21 November 2016, Katerina Markou declared herself an independent.[24]

On 13 January 2017, Rodopi MP Ilhan Ahmet became the fourth MP elected in the September 2015 general election to resign from the party. He later announced he was joining the Democratic Alignment parliamentary group.[25]

On 7 February 2017, Larissa MP Konstantinos Bargiotas resigned from the party, indicating that he would join the Democratic Alignment parliamentary group.[26]

Ideology[edit]

Following its launch, The River was initially described by the media as pro-European and centrist,[27] inspired by social democracy and liberalism[28] and heavily reliant on Theodorakis' personal popularity to attract voters.[1] The general description of the party's political position ranged from centrist[29][30][31] to centre-left.[5][32][33]

Election results[edit]

Hellenic Parliament[edit]

Election Hellenic Parliament Rank Government Leader
Votes  % ±pp Seats won +/−
01/2015 373,868 6.1% New
17 / 300
Increase17 #4 Opposition Stavros Theodorakis
09/2015 222,166 4.1% Decrease2.0
11 / 300
Decrease6 #6 Opposition Stavros Theodorakis

European Parliament[edit]

European Parliament
Election Votes  % ±pp Seats won +/− Rank Leader
2014 377,438 6.6% New
2 / 21
Increase2 #5 Stavros Theodorakis

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Another party arrives on Greece's increasingly diffuse political scene". MacroPolis. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  2. ^ Stathis N. Kalyvas (2015). "So long, austerity? Syriza's victory and the future of the Eurozone". In Gideon Rose. Europe's Monetary (Dis)union. Council on Foreign Relations, Inc. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-87609-638-3. 
  3. ^ Nordsieck, Wolfram. "Greece". parties-and-elections.eu. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  4. ^ "Greek election 2015: everything you need to know". The Guardian. 15 September 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c "Potami to sit with Pasok in European parliament". Eleftherotypia. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  6. ^ The counselors of the Regions.
  7. ^ Aris Trantidis (2016). Clientelism and Economic Policy: Greece and the Crisis. Routledge. p. 219. ISBN 978-1-317-32660-1. 
  8. ^ Cas Mudde (2016). SYRIZA: The Failure of the Populist Promise. Springer. p. 31. ISBN 978-3-319-47479-3. 
  9. ^ Hendrik Träger (2015). "Die Europawahl 2014 als second-order election". In Michael Kaeding; Niko Switek. Die Europawahl 2014: Spitzenkandidaten, Protestparteien, Nichtwähler. Springer-Verlag. p. 41. ISBN 978-3-658-05738-1. 
  10. ^ Martens, Michael (23 January 2015). "Griechische Flusslehre". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). p. 3. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  11. ^ http://www.euractiv.com/sections/eu-elections-2014/new-party-shakes-greek-political-scene-301531
  12. ^ "ANA-MPA: Potami party MEPs to join Socialists and Democrats group in EuroParliament". Amna.gr. Retrieved 2014-08-11. 
  13. ^ "Greece's Potami party to sit in same EU group as PASOK". Kathimerini. 2014-05-27. Retrieved 2014-12-31. 
  14. ^ Nikolouli, Sotiria (2014-05-28). "Potami Party MEPs to Join Socialists and Democrats Group in EuroParliament | GreekReporter.com". Greek Reporter. Retrieved 2014-08-11. 
  15. ^ "The Reformists, To Potami Join Forces". The National Herald. 26 December 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015. (Subscription required (help)). 
  16. ^ "Liberal Alliance ends talks with The River". Greek Liberal Monitor. 2015-01-05. Retrieved 2015-01-07. 
  17. ^ "Drasi leader urges party members to stand with Potami". Kathimerini. 2015-01-06. Retrieved 2015-01-07. 
  18. ^ "Liberal Drasi party joins forces with To Potami in upcoming general elections". 2015-01-06. Retrieved 2015-01-07. 
  19. ^ a b Chrysoloras, Nikos (26 January 2015). "What Now for Greece After Anti-Bailout Syriza Wins Vote?". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  20. ^ "Stavros Theodorakis: "The country needs major alliances"". To Vima. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  21. ^ http://greece.greekreporter.com/2015/09/21/greek-elections-official-final-results/
  22. ^ http://www.megatv.com/megagegonota/article.asp?catid=27371&subid=2&pubid=35820977
  23. ^ http://tvxs.gr/news/ellada/o-theodorakis-diegrapse-ton-fotila-apo-potami
  24. ^ http://www.kathimerini.gr/884487/article/epikairothta/politikh/apoxwrhse-apo-to-potami-h-katerina-markoy---h-apanthsh-8eodwrakh
  25. ^ ΣΚΑΪ. "Σε ΠΑΣΟΚ-ΔΗΜΑΡ κι επισήμως ο Ιλχάν Αχμέτ μετά την αποχώρηση από το Ποτάμι". Retrieved 2017-01-13. 
  26. ^ "Νέα απώλεια για το Ποτάμι: Ανεξαρτητοποιήθηκε ο βουλευτής Κ. Μπαργιώτας, του Κωνσταντίνου Ζούλα | Kathimerini" (in Greek). Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  27. ^ Konstandaras, Nikos (24 April 2014). "From Pericles to Potami". The New York Times. ...Potami’s pro-European Union, centrist policies... 
  28. ^ "River: Between social democracy and liberalism". Capital.gr. 29 June 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  29. ^ Mandravelis, Paschos (21 January 2015). "Tight election campaign prompts copycat ads". Kathimerini. ...Potami, the centrist party... 
  30. ^ Barber, Tony (21 January 2015). "Greek political dynasties will bide their time". Financial Times. ...To Potami (“The River”), a new, anti-corruption, centrist party. 
  31. ^ Mason, Paul (20 January 2015). "Inside Syriza’s economic brain". Channel 4. ...To Potami (The River) which I can best describe as a Blairite modernising centrist party... 
  32. ^ Wayne C. Thompson (2015). Western Europe 2015-2016. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 282. ISBN 978-1-4758-1885-7. 
  33. ^ "Greek elections: Main parties from Syriza to Golden Dawn explained". BBC News. 21 January 2015. The River (To Potami) is a moderate centre-left party 

External links[edit]