Coalition of the Radical Left

Published 23rd April, 2012

The Coalition of the Radical Left or Synaspimos was formed in 1989 as an alliance between the orthodox Communist Party of Greece (KKE), the Greek Left Party (Elleniki Aristera or EAR) and a number of smaller left-wing groups. It describes itself as left-wing and believes in democratic socialism, eco-socialism and anti-capitalism.

The EAR had been launched by those Greek Communists (KKE Interior) opposed to the pro-Soviet orthodoxy of the exiled leadership of the established Greek Communist Party (KKE). Various such coalitions fought the elections after the end of the Colonel’s regime in 1994 winning eight seats in 1974 and two seats in 1977. The EAR was dissolved in 1992.

Reuniting many of the Greek Communist factions SYRIZA polled 13.1% of the vote and won 28 seats in the June 1989 General Election, the highest percentage for the Left in a post-junta election. However, the decision to form a coalition with the ND damaged the party electorally and they fell back in the November 1989 elections to 21 seats and 11.0% of the vote. Switching to collaboration with PASOK did not stop the slide and when the harder line faction regained control of KKE it withdrew from SYRIZA.

In the 1993 elections SYRIZA failed to gain a single seat, in 1996 they won 10 seats, but went down to six in 2000.For the 2004 election they joined the Coalition of the Radical Left-Unitary Ticket , another electoral alliance of the Left, but this grouping only gained six seats. In 2007 SYRIZA won 14 seats (5.04%) and in 2009 13 seats (4.60%).

In June 2010 4 MPs, called the Renewing Wing, left the alliance and formed the Democratic Left Party, leaving SYRIZA with nine MPs. Synaspismos remains the biggest group within the alliance.

The Coalition of the Radical Left is a member of the Party of the European Left and an observer at the European Anticapitalist Left. The party holds one seat in the European Parliament and is a member of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL).

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