I don't do this often so please bear with me. Here's a thread about the alarming developments in #Greece & #New_Democracy's hard-right/#authoritarian turn.👇This photo by D. Tosidis (credit: EPA-EFE; Source:
ANA-MPA) can act as an intro to the thread. 0/ webgate.epa.eu/webgate?EVENT=…
So, is #New_Democracy govt driving #Greece towards democratic backsliding? Today after we witnessed yesterday's disgraceful images of #police brutally attacking & arresting protesting students inside the country’s biggest university is a sadly fitting day to pose the question. 1/
If we take #Hungary & #Poland as exemplary cases in the literature & as points of comparison, the answer is likely to be yes. The most common symptoms of democratic backsliding mentioned by scholars seem to be manifesting in #Greece since July 2019 with disturbing consistency. 2/
Symptom 1: Overpowering the #executive. Exactly what #Mitsotakis did when he assumed office by creating the ‘Presidency of Government’ & transferring the control of key agencies (Intelligence; Public Broadcasting; Secretariat for Media/ Communication) under the PM’s office. 3/
Symptom 2: Undermining rights. #Mitsotakis govt has adopted an openly #anti-immigrant stance exemplified by the portrayal of immigrants as ‘invaders,’ ‘infectious,’ in policies such as depriving them of right to health & in #pushbacks in the #Aegean (as reported by Spiegel). 4/
Symptom 3: Authoritarian law & order agenda. Since assuming office, #Mitsotakis govt has hired an unprecedented number of #police officers outside standard channels & with very little training (so called ‘Special Guards’) & tolerated an alarming increase in police brutality. 5/
Its latest such policy was a law establishing permanent #police presence within #university campuses, coupled with a smearing campaign against Greek public universities, which the govt considers as fostering left-wing/progressive ideas & groups. 6/
When defending the bill in parliament #Mitsotakis stated that it was not the police entering university campuses, but ‘the cool breeze of democracy’ (!) identifying #democracy with the #police in a truly chilling metaphor. The bill passed with extra votes from the #far_right. 7/
Symptom 4: Tight control over the #media & #public_sphere. The #Mitsotakis govt has established alarmingly close relations with known media moguls & major media outlets, which has led to an unprecedented suppression of pluralism of information/opinion in the media. 8/
It has used public #funds to support government-friendly media outlets, while excluding/undermining critical media. At the same time, it has established tight control over the Public Broadcaster & state media, leading, overall, to an almost monophonic public sphere. 9/
Symptom 5: Demonizing/suppressing the #opposition. The #Mitsotakis govt has consistently used a sharply #polarizing discourse against main opposition party, SYRIZA, and the left in general, with pro-government media often advancing #smearing campaigns based on misinformation. 10/
In a recent cabinet reshuffle #Mitsotakis appointed as Minister for Interior M. #Voridis a known figure of the #far_right, who stated in 2018 that #Mitsotakis should make institutional changes to the state to ensure that the Left does not rise to power again in the future. 11/
To further emphasize the above: Instead of being marginalised by the PM for such an #authoritarian & #illiberal statement, Voridis was put in a position where he can actually take #policy_initiatives & legislate to make good on that dystopian promise. 12/
Symptom 6: Advancing an ultra-conservative cultural agenda. The #Mitsotakis govt includes ministers who have expressed in the past #anti_immigrant, #xenophobic, #homophobic & even #anti_Semitic views & have advanced an ultra-conservative agenda in #education & #culture. 13/
This can go on forever & I'm sure I'm missing many other aspects of this #authoritarian turn. There's depressingly little relevant discussion among academics & pundits, so hoping to raise some awareness beyond Greece about these developments. Please feel free to add/discuss. END/
@CasMudde the above thread could be of interest & relevant to the interesting posts you made lately. Based on this I'd suggest that #New_Democracy in Greece is actually to the right of the UK #Conservatives & not the other way around as you seemed to suggest. Welcome to discuss!

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Giorgos Katsambekis

Giorgos Katsambekis Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @G_Katsambekis

7 Feb
Greek PM #Mitsotakis violated again (!) the #COVID19 rules. He visited Ikaria island, where he participated at a big gathering at the house of a local MP with 30 other people, breaking the rules against household mixing, social distancing & mask-wearing. thenationalherald.com/greece_politic…
The incident is truly shocking & was reported on the very same day that the #Mitsotakis government put around half of Greece under tighter lockdown measures, with curfews starting as early as 18:00.
The government's tight control over public & private #media resulted in the effective 'burying' of the story. This would have made headlines in most European countries. This is indicative of the worrying decline of public scrutiny & contestation in the country under this govt.
Read 9 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!