Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Greek political dynasties will bide their time

by Tony Barber

Financial Times

January 21, 2015

Greece’s parliamentary elections on Sunday are set to put in power the nation’s most leftwing government, led by the radical Syriza party, and its youngest prime minister, 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, since the second world war.

But some familiar names and faces will survive Syriza’s expected victory. Despite six years of economic slump, and despite the reappearance of serious concerns about Greece’s ability to stay in the eurozone, the old Greek political order is not about to be swept away in its entirety.

Several members of the three great dynasties that have dominated Greek politics since the second world war – the Karamanlis, Mitsotakis and Papandreou families – are likely to win seats in the new parliament.

Most, if not all, of these dynastic scions will sit on the opposition benches. For the younger ones among them, however, the road to power seems sure one day to reopen.

Since 1944 the three dynasties have supplied six prime ministers, who have governed Greece for just over half the 71 years up to the present day.


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