Greece Electoral Stalemate
Source: The Library of Congress Country Studies
As he awaited PASOK's inevitable losses in the election of June 1989, Papandreou adjusted the electoral system to make it more proportional and hinder formation of a majority by a rival party. The strategy succeeded in part. Under the leadership of Papandreou's old rival Konstantinos Mitsotakis, ND won 44 percent of the vote, but it fell six seats short of a majority. A shortlived conservative-communist coalition government was formed. In a matter of months, a second election also failed to produce a clear victor that could form an effective government. Finally, in April 1990, ND won a narrow majority of seats and formed the government. Papandreou and the socialists were finally out of power after almost ten years.
In the 1990s, the critical challenges that Greece faces all have deep roots in its history. The end of the Cold War again raises the question of Greece's rightful position in global geopolitics--a question that has been answered in quite different ways as time has passed. As European integration continues apace, rumblings are heard from the richer, northern European nations about the economic burden placed on them by confederation with their poorer members to the south, especially Greece (see International Economic Policy in the 1990s , ch. 3).
Closer integration in the European Union (as the European Community was renamed in December 1993) also stimulates new contemplation from within of Greece's differences and commonalities with Western Europe, the civilizations of which were enormously enriched by contact with Greek culture of the past. Through most of the modern era, however, the nations of the West (including the United States) have been protectors, invaders, or persistent sources of interference in the internal affairs of Greece, a nation lusting for past glory and independence but unable to recapture them. At the end of a uniquely chaotic century, Greeks sought the internal stability that would allow them again to offer the world the best of their culture.
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A number of good introductory publications are available in English. Richard Clogg's A Concise History of Greece serves as the best starting point. Clogg's earlier A Short History of Modern Greece is a valuable companion volume. C.M. Woodhouse's Modern Greece: A Short History and Campbell and Sherrard's Modern Greece are dated but still useful. A Profile of Modern Greece in Search of Identity by Kourvetaris and Dobratz provides a more holistic but flawed picture of the development of Greece in the modern era, and the misnamed collection of essays Background to Contemporary Greece, edited by Marion Sarafis and Martin Eve, contains a few very insightful articles. The essays collected by scholar Robert Browning in The Greeks: Classical, Byzantine, and Modern provide a solid introduction to the history of Greece from the first millennium B.C. Barbara Jelavich's two-volume History of the Balkans places Greece in the historical context of its region. The history and anthropology sections of the forthcoming bibliographical guide on modern Greece, to be published by the Modern Greek Studies Association, will prove invaluable for further investigation of Greek history. Finally, that association's Journal of Modern Greek Studies remains the flagship journal in the field, and it should be consulted for the latest developments in the study of modern Greece. (For further information and complete citations, see Bibliography.)
Data as of December 1994
NOTE: The information regarding Greece on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greece Electoral Stalemate information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greece Electoral Stalemate should be addressed to the Library of Congress.