Yannis Palaiologos

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Anti-fascist protesters outside an Athens court where the trial of leaders and members of the Golden Dawn far-right party was taking place on Wednesday. (Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

It was a rare moment of unalloyed collective joy, in a year that has offered precious little of it: On Wednesday, the Athens Court of Appeals found the leadership of Golden Dawn, a racist group with Nazi roots that became Greece’s third-largest party in 2015, guilty of being the ringleaders of a criminal organization. A crowd of thousands outside erupted in celebration. Dozens of the organization’s top thugs were found guilty of multiple charges, including murder and attempted murder.

For Greece, it was a fitting, happy ending to a nightmarish decade, but the outcome wasn’t assured. It’s hard to overestimate the danger of flirting with such extremists — and the ease with which it can lead to consequences beyond anyone’s control.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sunday’s parliamentary elections amounted to a stinging defeat for both left and right populism in Greece. After a long slog in bailout purgatory, and 4½ years under a populist government of the hard left and the nationalist right, Greeks turned decisively to the establishment center-right New Democracy party, led by Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Now it is up to the new prime minister to deliver the reforms that will permanently consign the forces of extremism to the margins.

Ousted prime minister Alexis Tsipras, leader of the leftist Syriza party, came to power promising to end austerity and rid the country of the endemic corruption of the old political system.…  Seguir leyendo »

Sunday's parliamentary election in Greece delivered a crushing blow to New Democracy and Pasok, the two dominant parties that have ruled the country for the last 37 years. In the coming weeks, expect uncertainty, shifting alliances and growing frustration as a new political landscape struggles to emerge from the wreckage of the old.

As the main backers of Greece's second bailout and the harsh austerity measures that accompanied it, New Democracy and Pasok saw their combined share of votes plunge, as angry voters punished them for two years of wage and pension cuts and rising taxes. Pasok, in particular, which won a landslide election in 2009 and made the fateful decision to seek the financial assistance of euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund in 2010, saw its support collapse.…  Seguir leyendo »