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 the country's constitution, means that the country now has to hold an early general election on January 26—the third in five years. Predictably, the rest of the world is now freaking out over how this local political turmoil might affect the European Union and the global financial system.
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 the Democrats and Republicans, respectively. However, due to the fact they were in power during much of the lead-up to the economic crisis— not to mention reports of corruption—PASOK gradually lost its luster 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-center 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 continued the family tradition by becoming prime minister in 2009. However, it took George less than a year to lose the confidence of the Greek people due to his severe austerity program as well as the undertaking of a €110 billion ($131 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 honor of Papandreou's new party.