Democratic Left (Greece)
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Democratic Left Greece
Democratic Left
Dimokratiki Aristera (DIMAR)
LeaderThanasis Theocharopoulos
Founded27 June 2010
Split fromSynaspismós
HeadquartersPlateia Viktorias 5,
10 434 Athens
Political position
National affiliationDISI (2015-2017)
KINAL (2017-2019)
SYRIZA (from 2019)
European Parliament

Democratic Left (Greek: (..), Dimokratiki Aristera, DIMAR) is a social-democratic[1][2][3][4] political party in Greece. DIMAR was a minor party supporting the Samaras cabinet from 21 June 2012 to 21 June 2013.



DIMAR was founded on 27 June 2010 when the Renewal Wing platform of the left-wing party Synaspismós, a component of the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza)--among them MPs Fotis Kouvelis, Thanasis Leventis, Nikos Tsoukalis, and Grigoris Psarianos--exited Synaspismós at its 6th congress. They were joined by more than 550 individuals.[10] At a subsequent national conference of the Renewal Wing, 170 members were elected to national policy committee of the new party.[11]

The first conference of DIMAR was held on 31 March - 3 April 2011. It elected Fotis Kouvelis as the party's leader with 97.31% of the vote.[12]

On 22 March 2012, six MPs from the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) joined the party,[13] which raised the number of Democratic Left MPs to 10, the party was eligible to form a parliamentary group.[14] The minor party Free Citizens also joined the Democratic Left on 22 March 2012.

2012 elections and governing coalition

In the May 2012 legislative election DIMAR received 386,116 votes (6.1%) and elected 19 MPs in the Greek Parliament, making it the seventh biggest party in the Hellenic Parliament. In the June 2012 legislative election, the DIMAR won 6.3% of the vote and 17 seats, making it the sixth largest party by seat count. It joined the Samaras cabinet with New Democracy (ND) and PASOK.

In November 2012, the party decided to vote abstained/present to the labor market reform and "Midterm fiscal plan 2013-16" as part of the sixth austerity package negotiated with the Troika,[15][16] while they cast a supportive vote for the "Fiscal budget 2013".[17] As the party did not vote directly against the crucial reforms, it was afterwards possible to continue being a part of the three-party coalition government with New Democracy and PASOK. Following this political line however came at the price. Three of its MPs voted against the party line on the reforms, and consequently were asked to leave the party, thus reducing the party's number of MPs from 17 to 14. Democratic Left's political charter has no paragraphs enabling for the exclusion of MPs from the party, but the three MPs being asked to leave were expected to follow the request, as they fundamentally disagreed with the party's political line.[18][19]

In April 2013, two former Democratic Left MPs, Odysseas Voudouris and Paris Moutsinas, were expelled from DIMAR's parliamentary group after having voted against the coalition government's seventh austerity package.[20] They announced to form a new party, stating in a letter to party leader Fotis Kouvelis that their former party had "mutated" into a centrist one.[21]

Back in opposition

On 21 June 2013, DIMAR left the governing coalition with ND and PASOK in protest of the unilateral closure of the state broadcasting corporation, Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) which was opposed by both DIMAR and PASOK.[22] The withdrawal left Samaras with a tiny majority with 153 New Democracy/PASOK MPs.[23]

In the 2014 European elections on 25 May 2014, DIMAR's vote collapsed, with the party receiving less than one fifth of the popular support it had in the national elections two years before (1.20%, down from 6.25%) and failing to win any seats in the European Parliament.

2015 legislative elections

On 4 January 2015 DIMAR announced it would contest the upcoming election in cooperation with the Greens.[24] In the 25 January 2015 legislative election, the joint electoral list received a mere 0.49% of the vote, thus failing to return any DIMAR MPs to the Hellenic Parliament.[25]

On 30 August 2015, ahead of the forthcoming September snap election, PASOK announced an electoral pact with DIMAR, named the Democratic Coalition.[26][27]

In the September 2015 legislative election on 20 September 2015, the PASOK-DIMAR list received 6.3% of the vote, and returned 17 seats.[28]


DIMAR was one of the founding members of the Movement for Change (KINAL) in March 2018. However, DIMAR left KINAL in January 2019.[29]

In April 2019, DIMAR affiliated with Syriza, ahead of the 2019 European election.[30]

Election results

Hellenic Parliament

Election Hellenic Parliament Rank Government Leader
Votes % ±pp Seats won +/-
May 2012 386,394 6.1% New
Increase19 #7 Opposition Fotis Kouvelis
June 2012 384,986 6.2% +0.1
Decrease2 #6 Coalition gov't
Fotis Kouvelis
January 2015 30,074 0.5% -5.7
Decrease17 #13 No seats Fotis Kouvelis
September 2015 w. Democratic Coalition
Increase1 #4 Opposition Thanasis Theocharopoulos

European Parliament

European Parliament
Election Votes % ±pp Seats won +/- Rank Leader
2014 68,873 1.2% New
±0 #10 Fotis Kouvelis


  1. ^ a b c Nordsieck, Wolfram (2015). "Greece". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 10 June 2019. Retrieved 2012.
  2. ^ a b Richard Clogg (2013). A Concise History of Greece. Cambridge University Press. p. 259. ISBN 978-1-107-03289-7.
  3. ^ a b Eleni Panagiotarea (2013). Greece in the Euro: Economic Delinquency or System Failure?. ECPR Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-1-907301-53-7.
  4. ^ a b Bettina Davou; Nicolas Demertzis (2013). "Feeling the Greek Financial Crisis". In Nicolas Demertzis (ed.). Emotions in Politics: The Affect Dimension in Political Tension. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 123. ISBN 978-1-137-02566-1.
  5. ^ Gilson, George (18 December 2011), "The rise of the left", Athens News, archived from the original on 4 June 2012, retrieved 2012
  6. ^ a b Mac Con Uladh, Damian (3 November 2011), "Where Greece stands", Irish Times, retrieved 2012
  7. ^ Malkoutzis, Nick (November 2011), The Greek Crisis and the Politics of Uncertainty (PDF), Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, retrieved 2012
  8. ^ Claudia Wiesner; Mieke Schmidt-Gleim (2014). The Meanings of Europe: Changes and Exchanges of a Contested Concept. Routledge. p. 164. ISBN 978-1-134-45845-5.
  9. ^ Erol Külahci (2012). Europeanisation and Party Politics: How the EU affects Domestic Actors, Patterns and Systems. ECPR Press. p. 105. ISBN 978-1-907301-22-3.
  10. ^ "Syriza split creates new party", Kathimerini English Edition, 10 June 2010.
  11. ^ "" " ? ? - - ". Retrieved 2017.
  12. ^ " ? ? (Kouvelis elected president of Democratic Left)" (in Greek). Kathimerini. 3 April 2011. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012.
  13. ^ " , 6 (6 ex-PASOK MP's to DIMAR)" (in Greek). Eleftheros Typos. 20 March 2012. Archived from the original on 4 November 2013. Retrieved 2012.
  14. ^ "Arrival of new MPs gives Democratic Left parliamentary group". Kathimerini. 22 March 2012.
  15. ^ "Greek Parliament passes new austerity package with tiny majority". Kathimerini (English edition). 8 November 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  16. ^ "" (in Greek). Kathimerini. 8 November 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  17. ^ "Greek coalition wins budget vote comfortably, waits for loan tranche". Kathimerini (English edition). 12 November 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  18. ^ "Democratic Left MP leaves party, goes independent". 23 October 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  19. ^ "Upheaval in coalition parties after departures". Kathimerini (English edition). 8 November 2012. Retrieved 2012.
  20. ^ "Small majority for austerity raises big doubts (in English)". Athens News. 24 March 2013. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013. Retrieved 2014.
  21. ^ "Former Democratic Left MPs announce new movement". 1 April 2013. Retrieved 2013.
  22. ^ Smith, Helena (21 June 2013). "Democratic Left withdraws from Greek coalition government". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2013.
  23. ^ "Greece coalition partner pulls out ministers in wake of ERT debacle [update] - Kathimerini". Retrieved 2017.
  24. ^ "" - " ? ". 4 January 2015.
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-01-26. Retrieved .CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ "PASOK seals vote pact with DIMAR - Kathimerini". Retrieved 2017.
  27. ^ "PASOK and DIMAR Cooperation in Greek Elections -". Retrieved 2017.
  28. ^ "Greek Elections: Official Final Results -". Retrieved 2017.
  29. ^
  30. ^

External links

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