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John Stathatos


The European Parliament elections were held in Greece on Sunday 7 June. The fine weather, the long weekend and a general sense of disgust with politics and politicians all made for a low turnout at the polls. In Kythera, the turnout reached 46% of those on the electoral rolls, with 2,361 votes cast for a grand total of 27 parties. Of these, six at most could be regarded as serious; the rest were assorted idealists, extremists, nutters, obsessive single-issue candidates and just plain jokers.

After a long spell of ongoing financial and political scandals, the country’s mood swung decisively against the conservative New Democracy party (ND) headed by Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, giving the opposition Panhellenic Socialist Party (PASOK) a win of sorts against the ruling party. Despite being a traditionally conservative island, Kythera went with the trend, casting 818 votes for PASOK and 796 for ND – a wafer-thin lead of less than one per cent. Some of the ND votes migrated to the ultra-nationalist, extreme right-wing LAOS party, which achieved a disgraceful total of 172 votes, making a grand total of 968 for the right.

However, repeating the same exercise on the centre and left, adding to PASOK’s vote 141 KKE (dogmatic communist party) votes, 113 Synaspismos (Marxist coalition/Eurocommunists) votes and 81 Green Part votes, gives a grant total of 1,153 votes for the centre-left and left – a rather more convincing result, particularly for Kythera. Finally, 186 votes were shared by the other 22 parties.

John Stathatos

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