Monday, March 08, 2004

The Times on Greece

The New York Times' analysis of the conservative victory in Greece included this remark about the distribution of votes: "New Democracy looked set to win at least 165 of the 300 seats in Parliament. But Pasok appeared poised to win at least 115 seats, with the rest going to two small leftist parties."

One of the "two small leftist parties" is none other than the Greek communist party which still manages to get some votes these days. This is a typical Times attempt to center Pasok, the radical left or socialist party that has ruled Greece for most of the last generation. Although not quite communist, Pasok was always a rabidly anti-American, anti-capitalist party. They might have had some justification for ill-feeling against the U.S due to the foreign policy of Nixon and Kissinger regarding Cyprus, but their anti-Americanism also extended to and consisted of all the tropes about America one hears in sophisticated French circles and elsewhere in Europe. Leave it to the Times to try to center them.

In any case, perhaps the U.S.'s stronger presence in the world had some part to play in the recent election. Our attempt to liberalize and democratize the Middle East may be having a salubrious effect in Greece -- a European liberal democracy, to be sure, but a struggling, less-prosperous one that seems to have taken its political cues more from France than England.


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