Yannis Tsirbas & Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos: Europe at the Epicenter of National Politics: The Attitudes of Greek Political Elites Towards the European Union and the Economic Crisis. [Abstract]
This article presents new research on the Europeanness of Greek political elites under the economic crisis. It registers the views of a sample of 74 Greek Members of Parliament (MPs) on European integration and the handling of the economic crisis by the European Union (EU). The ENEC survey, which was conducted in 2014, shows that Greek MPs continue to be attached to Europe, but evaluate negatively the role of EU’s institutions during the economic crisis. They mostly view European integration positively, but are skeptical about the representativeness of EU organs. There is a discernible set of “core attitudes” which constitute the Europeanness of Greek MPs, but there is also a set of issues on which MPs are clearly divided. The dominant dimension of conflict within Greek political elites is the issue of economic austerity packages, i.e., the Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), as since 2010 EU’s management of the crisis has become the epicenter of Greece’s domestic politics. The two party, SYRIZA-ANEL coalition government that was formed after the January 2015 elections was not a surprise given the close proximity of these two parties on their stance towards the MoUs and the EU.