Cas Mudde: Five Predictions of Greece's Future after SYRIZA Landslide
Five main developments could follow SYRIZA's landslide victory in the early elections on Sunday, according to political scientist Cas Mudde, who has been studying radical political parties for years.
In an analysis published on Open Democracy, Mudde says the Greek party system will "consolidate a new two-party dynamic" following a scenario in Italy, where the old system imploded in 1990s due to corruption scandals. In Greece, "on the left, PASOK has imploded, but is replaced by SYRIZA."
"Greece will not follow the path of Weimar Germany," Mudde goes further ruling out the country could turn into a weak democracy threatened by "strong extremist parties." Despite not being "a committed liberal democratic party", SYRIZA is not very different from the "left-wing populist PASOK", in his words. He believes Tsipras's party will have to come to terms, albeit "grudgingly", with accepting communism and minority rights.
Another expected development will be its consolidation into a more traditional party as it currently consists of a coalition of small radical and extreme left "groupuscules". But "the pressures of governing a country in crisis, as well as the internal divisions and struggles of the party, will provide Tsipras and his team with strong incentives to build SYRIZA into a real political party," the political scientist opines.
Mudde has also downplayed a potential rise of the far left, since "in Cyprus, Ireland and Italy left-wing populist parties might grow... mostly in the form of established forces" due to the fact that their development is mostly driven by "apparatchiks and opportunists who could not convince their electorates to overcome their distrust of previously defeated ideologies."
The article's last point reads that the EU "will not change fundamentally" since Europe and Tsipras are most likely to reach "a compromise that is essentially a SYRIZA defeat." As a consequence, the EU will most likely "soften austerity rhetoric, but to a lesser extent policy" Mudde notes: "Even if Podemos comes to power in Spain later this year, and that is a big if, the majority of European governments will continue to support austerity politics, if only because their political fate is tied to it."
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