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In their analysis entitled “Greece as an example of ‘post-politics’ in the Eurozone“, Filippa Chatzistavrou, Research Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP), and Sofia Michalaki, junior Research Fellow at ELIAMEP, explain that “beyond the political significance of SYRIZA’s 3rd electoral victory in 7 months – this vote of confidence brings certain characteristics of both Greek and EU politics into sharper relief”.
In this EPIN Commentary the authors argue that the high-risk political activism undertaken by Syriza’s leadership in the first half of 2015 has (re)opened the debate about a reformed and socially sensitive EU, and contributed to the creation of another type of discourse in Europe – one that has so far been the preserve of established elites.
At the same time, they believe that “Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has established beyond doubt his dominance in Greek politics against all odds, and in defiance of partisan competitors at home and his counterparts’ wishes in the rest of Europe”, while the failure of Greek and European elites to tackle the devastating six-year crisis greatly contributed to this shift towards personality politics in Greece, occupying much of the left’s ideological and political space.
As far as the economic governance of EMU is concerned, the authors argue that it is far from being an optimal currency area, but rather “a construction based on positivist and deductive principles with no room for manoeuvre”, while its future may not be as predictable and propitious as it was some years ago, with the shifts in EU politics testing the soundness of its foundations as a zone of cooperation, where member states can effectively defend the rights flowing from their membership of the euro area and the EU.