James Galbraith: The Future of the Left in Europe

The Future of the Left in Europe – [the Prospect] The civil war on the British Left has parallels across Europe, as radical-left movements rediscover what is nothing new: that their fiercest enemy is their mainstream rivals. In Greece, the rise of SYRIZA, the “Coalition of the Parties of the Radical Left,” came at the expense of PASOK, the Pan-Hellenic Socialist Alliance. In Spain, Unidos Podemos challenged mainly the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE); that challenge fell short in the June elections. In Portugal the Bloc Izquierda rose as the Socialist Party declined; three left parties are now in an uneasy coalition thanks to the fact that the Socialists’ leader is the son of communists from Goa. In Germany there is Die Linke. In Italy the socialists disappeared long ago, but the thoroughly mainstream post-communist Democratic Party now finds itself under threat from the quasi-left Five Star movement. In France, exceptionally, the Socialists are collapsing unaided, and no radical-left political alternative yet exists, despite massive resistance to the government’s economic programs.

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