SYRIZA stands for the 'Synaspismos tis Rizospastikis Aristeras' or the Coalition of the Radical Left, which was born in 2004. It is actually the rebirth of the Synaspismos tes Aristerás ion Kineáton kai tes Oikologías or Synaspismos for short. In short throughout its various phases it is a coalition of the various left wing parties of Greece, and at one stage included the KKE, before it split off taking a huge chunk of the voters with it. At previous elections it just managed to muster over the 3% cut off point needed to get into parliament, this elections thanks to the fires it may do better.
As part of its rebirth (with a snazzy name SYRIZA - bit like Kentucky Fried Chicken becoming KFC) it has proceeded with the largest reshuffle of its candidates. It now features 80% new candidates - people who not only have never run for re-election but who are young. In the last mayoral election its young candidate Tsipras recieved a suprise percentage of the vote. What was suprising is that he only recieved little media coverage. From what i understand they are concerned with the environment (one of the parties in the coalition is the Ecological Intervention party) as well as of course, Student issues. During the student protests they automatically sent lawyers out to defend their rights. Now, while abuses occured on the side of the police, abuses were also made by students, who i believe violated the spirit of University immunity. (by throwing petrol bombs at police and then running into University where police cannot enter)
Now people are telling me that a vote for them is a vote for PASOK, and thats why they wont be voting for them. Which is strange since i do believe that in its previous reincarnation it formed a coalition with New Democracy, so why isn't it a vote for New Democracy?
Unfortunately the media is not helping me understand what these people are about, by not giving them equal air time with the other parties. So i am confused, should i be happy that young fresh faces are running or concerned that i am not 100% sure what their policies are. For many, it doesn't matter as long as its not one of the big two.