The severe crisis in Greece, which has been going on for several years, affected the political and economic stability of the entire European Union, calling into question the very existence of its single currency - the euro. To rectify this situation, the Greek government was forced to take a number of measures that aroused the outrage of the country's citizens.
When it became clear that Greece would not be able to overcome the crisis on its own, the main donor countries of the European Union, primarily Germany, agreed to provide financial assistance to Athens. But on condition that the Greek government introduces austerity, cuts social programs and benefits, raises the retirement age, etc. Unsurprisingly, a wave of unrest swept across Greece, with many mass protests taking place. The economic crisis smoothly spilled over into the political one. The country has actually split into two camps: some believe that the austerity measures imposed on Greece are not only painful for the Greeks, but also downright offensive; while others, in many respects agreeing with their opponents, believe that there is no other way out anyway, and therefore the creditors' claims must be fulfilled.
Particularly large rallies took place on the eve of the June 17 parliamentary elections. More than 50,000 protesters took to the street and broke up into different union columns. They demanded that anti-popular measures be abandoned, arguing that the plutocracy should pay for the current situation in the country.
The protesters were in a fighting mood. The column of anarchists decided to storm parliament, so the police were forced to use tear gas. Riots continued until midnight, with clashes between marginalized groups. The Communist Party and class trade unions at the rally behaved in a more civilized manner, they did not participate in violent provocations and tried to avoid clashes with the anarchists. Law enforcement agencies have unlocked the parliament building in order to avoid emergencies.
The leaders of the largest political forces spoke to their supporters, setting out their program. For example, Antonis Samaras, leader of the New Democracy Party, which won the previous elections on May 6, confirmed his intention to fulfill the terms of the agreement concluded by the Greek government with international creditors. While admitting that these conditions are very difficult and painful, he at the same time assured that he saw no other way out of the severe economic crisis. In other words, he urged his supporters to treat the terms of the agreement as a bitter but necessary medicine.
His opponent, the leader of the left-wing radical organization SYRIZA, Alexis Tsepras, on the contrary, pledged to seek a revision of the conditions for granting financial assistance to Greece in case of victory. Tsepras did not deny the necessity and importance of reasonable austerity measures, but again made it clear that, in his opinion, too much is being demanded of Greece.
And the leaders of the PASOK party, who for a long time led Greece before the crisis, speaking to their supporters, limited themselves to a standard set of common phrases. They say, in case of victory, they will make every effort to bring the country out of the crisis and restore its economy. To do this, they will certainly resort to the help of the European Union, but they will negotiate with it on an equal footing.
As you know, as a result of the elections, the center-right party "New Democracy", headed by Antonis Samaras, won. That is, at least for the near future, neither the European Union nor the euro area is threatened by a split.