Today's general election in Greece has turned out to be a historic turning point in Greek politics, with implications for the whole of Europe.
Combined with the ousting of President Sarkozy in France - and this week's UK local election results and the poor showing for Merkel's Conservatives in German regional elections today - it indicates the political crisis generated by austerity.
Since the fall of the military dictatorship in 1974, Greek politics has been dominated by two parties: the centre-left PASOK and the centre-right New Democracy. Since 1981, these two parties have consistently scored at least 77 per cent between them in general elections. Yet they have a combined total of around 35 per cent today - an extraordinary collapse.
Europe is in crisis because it has been hijacked by neo-liberalism and finance. In the last 20 years -- with a persistent democratic deficit -- the meaning of the European Union has increasingly been reduced to a narrow view of a single market and single currency, leading to liberalizations and speculative bubbles, loss of rights and the explosion of inequalities.
This is not the Europe that was imagined decades ago as a space of economic and political integration free from war. This is not the Europe that was built through economic and social progress, the extension of democracy and welfare rights.
The Red Army Faction, A Documentary History - Volume 1: Projectiles For the People
As euro zone economic turbulence continues, German political manoeuvring at the EU now faces unprecedented scrutiny.
Over the past year German politicians, specifically Chancellor Angela Merkel, have emerged in the international media as prominent symbols of a highly contested EU economic austerity agenda.
Conservative policies that move to cut funds to public institutions are a focus of great debate across the EU, from the halls of power in Brussels and Berlin, to the mass street protests in Athens and Madrid.
Join a public dialogue on Situations: The Left's responses to the crisis in Europe and North America.
Discussion will include:
Leo Panitch, Stephanie Ross, Albert Scharenberg, Bill Fletcher
Sponored by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the Centre for Social Justice,
and the Socialist Project.