‘The promises of Greece’s conservative New Democracy party and its leader Antonis Samaras that they would negotiate an easing of austerity measures if they came to power have been abandoned. Prime Minister Samaras’ coalition government is dominated by New Democracy, but it has the support of the main center-left party PASOK, now headed by Evangelos Venizelos, and the smaller Democratic Left, led by Fotis Kouvelis.
The government is pressing ahead with implementation of the austerity agenda encapsulated in the so-called “Memorandums”–two agreements made by a previous PASOK-led government in return for a European rescue of the Greek financial system.
Privatization of state-run services and enterprises has emerged as a central component of the austerity agenda. Now, the left-wing opposition to the government, led by the Coalition of the Radical Left, or SYRIZA, which nearly won two national elections in May and June, must confront the further threat to jobs and living standards that privatization will bring.’