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John Stathatos

Parliamentary Election Results on Kythera (May 2012)

The results of last Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Greece can only be described as dismal, since it looks as though no conceivable coalition or combination of parties will be able to form a government, leading to fresh elections in a month’s time, a period of increasing instability and a considerable risk of the country having to leave the eurozone. Unfortunately, it seems as though the majority of those who voted in the low turnout did so with their emotions rather than their head, choosing the short-term satisfaction of “punishing” the two major parties over the security of a reasonably stable government capable of continuing negotiations with Europe and the IMF.

The abstention rate on Kythera was particularly high, with only 36% of the electorate casting their vote. As in the rest of Greece, votes were split over a wide spectrum of parties, some of them brand new to these elections. The biggest percentage on the island went, unsurprisingly, to the mainstream conservative New Democracy party (24.55%); next highest was Syriza (a coalition of smaller leftist and non-dogmatic communist parties), which enjoyed a huge increase thanks to an aggressively anti-memorandum and, effectively, anti-european stance (13.99%); third came the Independent Greeks, an probably unstable new block composed largely of left-leaning breakaway elements from Pasok (13.37%); and Pasok itself, just 48 hours ago the country’s ruling party, came fourth with a humiliating 10.29%.

An unpleasant touch was added by the realisation that 127 Kytherians saw fit to vote for the Golden Dawn, a blatantly neofascist party which has adopted Nazi symbols and regalia and is known for resorting to violence and intimidation. It is to be hoped that except for a handful of mentally unbalanced individuals, the majority of Kytherians who chose to support these gangsters did so as form of protest vote and are unaware of the toxic nature of their pronouncements, easily available on their website.

It is possible that the results of these elections could have been worse for Greece, but it’s hard to see how.

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