Greek elections: A marathon, not a sprint
Greece is holding general elections on Sunday, May 21. The vote might lack the drama of previous elections, when the country’s fate was on the line amid a devastating economic crisis, but it could still end up being a rather complicated and tense process.
The Agora returns to examine the key issues going into this ballot, who the main players are, what the parties are promising, how the vote might turn out and why Greece could need a second election, if not a third as well, to choose a workable government this summer.
Hosts Nick Malkoutzis and Phoebe Fronista are joined by Angelos Seriatos, head of political & social research at Greek polling firm ProRata, and MacroPolis co-founder Yiannis Mouzakis and our features editor Georgia Nakou to discuss all these issues.
Extremely complex yet surprisingly simple - https://www.ips-journal.eu/topics/democracy-and-society/extremely-complex-yet-surprisingly-simple-6699/
Past austerity haunts Greek election as voters struggle with living costs - https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/past-austerity-haunts-greek-election-voters-struggle-with-living-costs-2023-05-15/
Greek PM says country has changed, seeks new mandate to speed up growth - https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/greek-pm-says-country-has-changed-seeks-new-mandate-speed-up-growth-2023-05-16/
Once Europe’s Headache, Greece Finds Its Feet - https://www.wsj.com/articles/once-europes-headache-greece-finds-its-feet-dbe9b73c
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10. Understanding Erdogan's foreign policy28:11For our final episode of the fourth series of The Agora, we take a look at what is happening just across the Aegean from Greece, where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is back for a third term and already prompting questions about whether he is shifting his foreign policy.In the wake of the recent NATO summit, where he withdrew objections to Sweden joining the military alliance, but also seemed to gain concessions, especially in relation to the supply of F-16 jets from the USA, analysts are trying to work out what we can expect from the Turkish leader.This issue is very relevant to Greece as Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has indicated that he wants to engage in meaningful talks with Ankara, aiming to even settle longstanding disputes between the two neighbours.To get a better understanding of what Erdogan is thinking and how he is likely to operate, The Agora co-host Nick Malkoutzis spoke to Ilhan Uzgel, a former professor of International Relations at Ankara University and currently a foreign policy analyst and commentator in Turkey.
9. Lost at sea: The Pylos shipwreck and its aftermath33:17On the night of June 14, a fishing boat called the Adriana, packed with hundreds of migrants who had paid traffickers to get them from Libya to Italy, sank in the deep waters of the Mediterranean, about 90 kilometers southwest of the town of Pylos in the Peloponnese.It was one of the worst tragedies of its kind ever witnessed in Greece and Europe. What makes the Pylos shipwreck such a standout case, though, is that it seems this tragedy could have been avoided.A series of reports by international and local media suggest that the Greek coast guard, and possibly the EU border agency, Frontex, could have done more to prevent so many people drowning.The Agora spoke to independent journalist Lydia Emmanouilidou, who has been covering the story, to find out what survivors told her and to discuss how and why the ship sank and what questions that has raised about how the authorities responded.We also hear from Valentina Brinis, a project manager at Open Arms, which is an NGO based in Barcelona that uses its own vessel to save migrants in distress in the Mediterranean.Useful readingEveryone Knew the Migrant Ship Was Doomed. No One Helped - The New York TimesGreek shipwreck: hi-tech investigation suggests coastguard responsible for sinking - The GuardianGreek coastguard 'pressured' disaster survivors to blame Egyptian men - BBC NewsItaly warned of dead children on migrant ship hours before it capsized - PoliticoGreece to the EU: Come help stop migrant boats before they get here - PoliticoMigrant crossings in Mediterranean leave thousands dead - Reuters
8. Greek elections: That's a wrap34:44At the second time of asking, Kyriakos Mitsotakis has been re-elected as the Greek Prime Minister and his centre-right New Democracy party has won a second term in office.The June 25 elections saw the conservatives cruise to an eight-seat majority in Parliament as the collapse of their main rival, left-wing SYRIZA, continued.However, the results were notable for the emergence of three fringe parties, two on the far right. They managed to pass the 3 pct threshold for electing MPs to take the total number of groupings in Greek Parliament to eight.In this episode of The Agora, co-host Nick Malkoutzis and MacroPolis co-founder Yiannis Mouzakis discuss what the result means for how Mitsotakis will govern over the next four years, where it leaves SYRIZA and the third party, centre-left PASOK, why the far right is back and how the fringe parties could impact policy making in Greece.Useful readingGreece’s conservatives win election majority to secure second term - https://www.politico.eu/article/greece-election-new-democracy-conservatives-win-second-term-kyriakos-mitsotakis/Greek Conservatives Score Decisive Election Win - https://www.wsj.com/articles/greek-conservatives-on-course-for-emphatic-election-win-d7dc0582?st=rlp7aawlgzm3ta1Populist Right Finds Fertile Ground in Greece - https://agendapublica.elpais.com/noticia/18682/populist-right-finds-fertile-ground-greeceKyriakos Mitsotakis’ skills and luck - https://www.ekathimerini.com/opinion/1214127/kyriakos-mitsotakis-skills-and-luck/Why Greece's Left May Give Conservatives A Smooth Sail To Victory - https://www.huffpost.com/entry/greece-left-election_n_6492a754e4b041b71a12c681Do or die - https://www.ips-journal.eu/topics/democracy-and-society/do-or-die-6794/
7. Greek Elections: Run it back?01:00:06Greeks are voting again in national elections on June 25 after an inconclusive ballot on May 21.New Democracy is set to return to power following a big victory last month. The results have raised lots of questions for the main opposition parties, SYRIZA and PASOK, but were also notable for the emergence of some new small parties.Lamprini Rori, an assistant professor in political analysis at Athens University, joins us on The Agora to discuss these issues with Nick Malkoutzis and to look ahead to what the next four years might look like for the incoming government.Also, Phoebe Fronista speaks to Kelly Kiki, project manager at the media incubator iMEdD, about a project using artificial intelligence to analyse the speeches of Greece's political leaders.
6. Greek Elections: A post-mortem and a look ahead33:12The national elections held on May 21 in Greece produced a landslide victory for the ruling centre-right party, which posted a winning margin of more than 20 points over its main rival, left-wing SYRIZA.As the dust settles from this resounding victory for Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, The Agora host Nick Malkoutzis gathers with MacroPolis co-founder Yiannis Mouzakis and features editor Georgia Nakou to discuss what contributed to this result.They examine what New Democracy got right, where it went wrong for SYRIZA and what the coming weeks could bring for centre-left PASOK as it eyes a comeback.Useful reading Greece’s conservatives achieve big victory but fall short of majority - https://www.politico.eu/article/greece-election-mitsotakis-new-democracy-syriza-vote/Mitsotakis needs new elections, SYRIZA a new direction - https://agendapublica.elpais.com/noticia/18602/mitsotakis-needs-new-elections-syriza-new-directionSYRIZA’s strategic defeat calls for strategic decisions - https://www.ekathimerini.com/opinion/1211639/syrizas-strategic-defeat-calls-for-strategic-decisions/PASOK emerges as the real big winner - https://www.ekathimerini.com/opinion/1211640/pasok-emerges-as-the-real-big-winner/
4. A game of marbles: Are the Parthenon Sculptures coming home?39:17After decades of making little progress in securing the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum, Greece appears to be edging closer to a possible deal for the repatriation of the ancient sculptures.Last December, Greek daily newspaper Ta Nea reported that Greek government officials, including Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, had held talks with the British Museum’s chair, George Osborne, about coming to an arrangement for the Marbles to be sent back.Further details of what this agreement might look like were reported by the Financial Times recently.The Agora caught up with Ta Nea’s London correspondent, Yiannis Andritsopoulos, to find out more about these talks, whether a deal really is in the offing and what any agreement would likely entail.Before that, though, hosts Phoebe Fronista and Nick Malkoutzis look back at the longstanding Greek request for the return of these priceless cultural artifacts, how that campaign has evolved over many years and how it has taken on a political hue at times.
3. What's the problem with Greece's media?01:02:22Recently Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis dismissed concerns about media independence in his country and labelled the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) assessment of Greece as lying in 108th place in the organisation's annual World Press Freedom Index as "crap".In this episode, Nick Malkoutzis and Phoebe Fronista look into why Greece has scored so badly in the RSF ranking and try to find exactly where the problem with Greece's media lies.They speak to Pavol Szalai, the head of EU/Balkans Desk at RSF, about why Greece scores worse than every other EU country when it comes to media freedom.Also, Yannis Palaiologos, a former Brussels correspondent for Kathimerini newspaper, discusses whether the RSF index provides a true reflection of the shortcomings of journalism in Greece.Useful readingRSF World Press Freedom Index: https://rsf.org/en/rsf-s-2022-world-press-freedom-index-new-era-polarisationRSF's factfile on Greece: https://rsf.org/en/country/greeceA game for press freedom in Greece by Stavros Malichudis: https://wearesolomon.com/mag/accountability/a-game-for-press-freedom-in-greece/How Greece became Europe’s worst place for press freedom by Nektaria Stamouli: https://www.politico.eu/article/greece-became-europe-worst-place-press-freedom/A State of Absolute Solitude by Tassos Telloglou: https://www.boell.de/en/2022/12/08/state-absolute-solitudeGreek Photojournalist Nikos Pilos Arrested and Charged: https://fom.coe.int/en/alerte/detail/107638266Greece's triangle of power (2012) by Stephen Grey: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-greece-media-idUSBRE8BG0CF20121217
2. Greece’s surveillance scandal: Is anybody listening?01:19:10Since the summer, a surveillance scandal has been gripping Greece. It emerged that the leader of Greece’s third party, PASOK, was being spied on by the country’s National Intelligence Service (EYP) but that there had also been an attempt to install spyware on his mobile phone.Over the last few weeks, there have been further revelations about the use of wiretapping in Greece. Lists of dozens of alleged targets have been published in the local media, fuelling a clash between the centre-right government and the opposition. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis claims he knows nothing about the illegal phonetapping and that under his watch the Greek state has not bought or deployed the Predator malware that is at the centre of the scandal, which goes to the heart of Greece’s institutions and democracy.Official investigations into the matter have left much to be desired, while much of the mainstream media has played down or ignored the issue. In fact, much of what we know today about illegal phone hacking in Greece is the result of the persistence of a few journalists at small and independent outlets.In this episode of The Agora, we try to explain what’s happened, what it means and what might lie ahead.To help us understand this complex story, we speak to journalist Thanassis Koukakis. He was the first known victim of Predator and spent months trying to find out more about the use of spyware and sharing this information with the public.We also speak to Nikolas Leontopoulos, the co-founder of Reporters United, a collective of investigative journalists that have been probing the surveillance story from its early days along with other media, such as Inside Story and Solomon, before larger outlets started covering developments.Further readingInside Storyhttps://insidestory.gr/tagline/spywareReporters Unitedhttps://www.reportersunited.gr/en/7728/slapps-against-greek-independent-media-solomon-and-reporters-united/https://www.reportersunited.gr/en/7002/i-am-the-journalist-being-watched-by-the-greek-secret-service/Solomonhttps://wearesolomon.com/mag/accountability/solomons-reporter-stavros-malichudis-under-surveillance-for-national-security-reasons/https://wearesolomon.com/mag/accountability/solomon-files-complaint-against-intelligence-agency/European Parliament’s PEGA committeehttps://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/pega/home/highlightshttps://www.europarl.europa.eu/committees/en/pega-findings/product-details/20221114CAN67684