SYRIZA will organize its third Congress at the beginning of 2020. The outcome of the Congress is going to influence the future of SYRIZA as the party has to adjust to the new realities caused by recent developments such as its meteoric electoral rise since 2012 and the governmental experience between 2015 and 2019. SYRIZA is henceforth the second-biggest party in terms of electoral influence and parliamentary representation in Greece. Therefore, SYRIZA’s internal developments will affect more broadly the political competition and the Greek party system. This Congress will be a turning point in SYRIZA’s internal transformation after its loss of power in the July 2019 national elections. An electoral loss is generally considered as a catalyst for internal transformation. However, SYRIZA has been constantly evolving since the 2010 Greek crisis.
In recent years, and especially after the outbreak of the global financial crisis, right-wing and left-wing populist parties and movements have enjoyed significant political success in Europe. One of these parties is SYRIZA in Greece. In this paper, we explore some of the particular characteristics of the political discourse articulated by SYRIZA in power. The core argument of the paper is that the Greek radical left party continues to express an inclusionary populist discourse after its rise to power. We examine this issue by utilising the methodology of the Essex School of Discourse Analysis. Moreover, we attempt to substantiate the view that populism does not always have a negative connotation and is not deterministically associated with nationalism or racism.
On 27 June 2015, after five months of politics of brinkmanship in negotiations with the European Union / European Central Bank / International Monetary Fund (EU/ECB/IMF) troika, Alexis Tsipras, the Prime Minister of the unusual coalition government of the left-wing Coalition of the Radical Left (Synaspismos Rizospastikis Aristeras, SYRIZA) and the far-right Independent Greeks (Aneksartitoi Ellines, ANEL), all of a sudden, proclaimed a referendum, to be held on 5 July 2015. Apart from the post-junta referendum of 1974 on Republic, all other six referendums held in Greece during the 20th century were conducted in conditions of political turmoil, chaos and, in most of the cases, extensive electoral fraud.