This post originally appeared on VICE Greece
A couple of days before we waved goodbye to 2014, the Greek Parliament tried and failed to elect a new Head of State for the third time. This according to our constitution means that the country now has to hold an early general election on the 26th of January – the third in five years. Predictably, the rest of the world is now freaking out over how our local political turmoil might affect the European Union and Western finances.
Greeks traditionally love to waste time discussing and involving themselves in politics so politicians have in our modern history enjoyed rock star status. Until recently, the two major rival parties were PASOK and New Democracy – our own versions of Labour and the Tories respectively. However, due to the fact they were in power for a large part of the years that led to the economic crisis as well as reports of corruption within its members, PASOK gradually lost its lustre and gave its place to SYRIZA – the Coalition of the Radical Left.
PASOK stands for Panhellenic Socialist Movement, and in 1981 it became the first left-of-centre party to win a majority in the Greek Parliament. The founder and leader of the Party was Andreas Papandreou – a powerful but controversial figure in Greek politics. He was also the son of Georgios Papandreou, who served as Prime Minister in the middle of the last century, and the father of George Papandreou, who following on his forefathers' footsteps became Prime Minister in 2009. However, it took George Papandreou less than a year to lose the confidence of the Greek people due to his severe austerity programme as well as the undertaking of a €110 billion bailout loan from the European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Within a couple of years, that last Papandreou government had resigned and PASOK's power had crumbled like a stale scone. Then, just three days into the new year, George Papandreou founded a new party – the Democrat Socialist Movement. For the unadulterated fans of the Papandreou dynasty this was "The party" of a lifetime. The moment they could finally feel the rush of what it means to have elections in Greece.
Here are some photos from the party in honour of Papandreou's new party.