The Triumph of Left-wing Populism in Greece: Causes and Consequences

Main Article Content

O. Demenko


The article analyzes the reasons and consequences of the spread of the ideology of left populism in Greece. It has been established that the success of the SYRIZA Coalition of Left Radical Forces, which was in power in Greece during 2015-2019, was facilitated by a number of factors. The most important among them: the popularity of leftist ideas in the social and political space of Greece; the traditions of populism inherent in most of the country’s political forces; unbalanced fiscal policy, structural macroeconomic imbalances, low statistical reliability and significant government debt; the world economic crisis of 2008-2009; deterioration of social standards and demographic indicators, the spread of unemployment; negative impact of the migration crisis; the tough position of Greece’s creditors, on whom public opinion blamed the country’s socio-economic problems.

It is noted that the phenomenon of left populism in Greece was the fact that immediately after the victory in the elections, SYRIZA, sandwiched between the demands of creditors and the real state of the economy, abandoned radical left populist ideas and was forced to pursue a neoliberal economic policy. Already in 2016, the country returned to slow economic growth, and in 2018 the financial assistance program was completed. However, due to the failure to fulfill its own campaign promises, SYRIZA lost power in the 2019 elections and took a centrist place in the Greek political system. A significant merit of the SYRIZA Coalition of Radical Left Forces was the successful resolution of an almost thirty-year dispute with North Macedonia over the name of the latter.

The opinion is substantiated that for Ukraine the main conclusion from the analysis of the Greek events of the early XXIst century is the realization of the fact that the complex problems of a political and socio-economic nature that face our country do not have a simple and quick solution. To achieve success, Ukraine must consistently defend its own national interests, strengthen sovereignty and independence, and pursue a balanced budgetary and financial and economic policy.


Download data is not yet available.

| Abstract views: 17 | PDF Downloads: 7 |

Article Details

How to Cite
Demenko, O. (2020) “The Triumph of Left-wing Populism in Greece: Causes and Consequences”, Problems of World History, (12), pp. 186-203. doi: 10.46869/2707-6776-2020-12-10.

Author Biography

O. Demenko

Demenko Oleksandr – Ph.D. in Political Sciences, Associate Professor, Scientific Secretary of the State Institution “Institute of World History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine”.


Koval, N. & Panchenko, Yu. (26.04.2019). Zelenskyi ne pershyi: yak zminiuvalys yevropeiski krainy pislia peremohy populistiv [Zelensky is not the first: how European countries changed after the victory of the populists]. [Online]. Available from: [In Ukrainian].

Rybak, V. (17.07.2015). Hretsiia: evoliutsiia borhu [Greece: the evolution of debt]. [Online]. Available from: [In Ukrainian].

Shapran, V. (22.06.2015). Drama “hrekonomiky” ta yii uroky dlia Ukrainy [The drama of “Greek economy” and its lessons for Ukraine]. [Online]. Available from: [In Ukrainian].

Bobrov, A. (2019). Grecija i Kipr v uslovijah dolgovogo krizisa: sravnitel’nyj analiz [Greece and Cyprus amid the debt crisis: a comparative analysis]. Mirovaja jekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnoshenija [World economy and international relations], 12, рр. 84-89. [In Russian].

Volkov, A., Gutnik, A., Kvashnin, Ju., Olenchenko, V. & Shhedrin A. (2015). Preodolenie krizisnyh javlenij v nekotoryh stranah ES [Overcoming the crisis in some EU countries]. Mirovaja jekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnoshenija [World economy and international relations], 3, рр. 35-47. [In Russian].

Vlasova, K. (2017). Brekzit glazami grekov [Brexit through the eyes of the Greeks]. Sovremennaja Evropa [Modern Europe], 6, рр. 70-80. [In Russian].

Pylash, D. (30.01.2015). SIRIZA: vid A do Ω [SYRIZA: from A to Ω.]. [Online]. Available from: [In Ukrainian].

Koval, N. (06.03.2020). Evoliutsiia populista: yak antysystemnyi lider zavershyv kryzu ta prymyryv Hretsiiu iz ES [The evolution of the populist: how the anti-system leader ended the crisis and reconciled Greece with the EU]. [Online]. Available from: [In Ukrainian].

Lukas, E. (18.05.2015). Solidarnist bez pryvileiv ta vyniatkiv [Solidarity without privileges and exceptions]. [Online]. Available from: [In Ukrainian].

Britchenko, I. & Shapran, V. (13.11.2017). Na pivdorozi do Afin: dva uroky hretskoi kryzy dlia Ukrainy [Halfway to Athens: two lessons from the Greek crisis for Ukraine]. [Online]. Available from: [In Ukrainian].

Kukhaleishvili, H. (09.07.2019). Kryza livoho populizmu: Pro shcho hovoriat rezultaty parlamentskykh vyboriv u Hretsii [The crisis of left-wing populism: What the results of the parliamentary elections in Greece say]. [Online]. Available from: [In Ukrainian].

Govorova, N. (2019). Migranty v Grecii: polozhenie na rynke truda i social’naja inkljuzija [Migrants in Greece: Labor Market Position and Social Inclusion]. Sovremennaja Evropa [Modern Europe], 5, рр. 78-88. [In Russian].

Vlasova, K. (2019). Protivodejstvie nelegal’noj migracii v Grecii [Countering illegal migration in Greece]. Sovremennaja Evropa [Modern Europe], 6, рр. 161-171. [In Russian].

Kvashnin, Ju. (2019). Makedonskij vopros v sovremennoj grecheskoj politike [The Macedonian Question in Contemporary Greek Politics]. Mirovaja jekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnoshenija [World economy and international relations], 2, рр. 66-74. [In Russian].