The final results of the Greek elections came in early this morning. SYRIZA garnered 149 seats in parliament, two short of a majority, and is entering a coalition with Independent Greeks to form a government. SYRIZA is a more-or-less radical left-wing party, while Independent Greeks is a nationalist-populist right-wing party whose leader, Panos Kammenos, espouses racist, homophobic, antisemitic and occasionally outright lunatic views (such as plane exhaust trails in the sky being unspecified chemical spraying.) This is as if Podemos were forming a coalition with UKIP. How can that happen and what can we expect to happen next? Here’s my two drachmas. Continue reading
The expression “Greek by genos” is a commonly used but rather vague criterion of “Greekness”. The word “genos” (γένος) in its wider sense can be translated as parentage, race, breed, lineage, species and more. Defining someone as “Greek by genos” may mean “Greek by birth”, “Greek by blood”, “born to Greek parents”, “of Greek lineage”, “ethnic Greek” or any variation of the above, depending on the political intention of the speaker. For the extreme-right, it can go as far as meaning “someone who has Greek DNA.”
Below is an English-language summary of the transcript of the meeting held on 15/05/2012 between the President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias, and the leaders of Nea Demokratia (Antonis Samaras), SYRIZA (Alexis Tsipras), PASOK (Evangelos Venizelos), Independent Greeks (Panos Kammenos) and Democratic Left (Fotis Kouvelis) in a last-ditch attempt to form a coalition government after the failure of consultations held on 13/05/2012 and 14/05/2012. The leader of the Communist Party (Aleka Papariga) declined to attend, while the leader of neo-nazi Golden Dawn (Nikolaos Michaloliakos) was not invited.
The original transcript of the meeting as published by the presidency can be found here.
The original minutes published by the presidency can be found here.
Updated post here.
In Greek elections, voters select the ballot paper of the political party of their choice, then tick the names of those candidates they support (between 1 and 4, depending on the size of the constituency).
Blank and spoiled ballot papers are not counted.
Parties must earn at least 3% of valid votes to enter parliament. For those who pass the 3% threshold, 250 of the 300 seats are allocated on a strictly proportional basis. The remaining 50 seats are allocated as a “bonus” to the party that obtains the highest number of votes nationwide.
A party or coalition needs 151 seats to secure a majority in parliament and be able to form a government.
To determine the percentage of nationwide votes needed to secure a majority, you should deduct from 100% the percentage of valid votes obtained by parties who did not reach the 3% threshold and multiply the percentage left by 0.404.