This is a map of the Greek radical left with a glossary below. I am grateful to Martin Laurent for creating it, with the help of Stathis Kouvelakis, Nikos Loudos and Panagiotis Sotiris. Follow-up, by Alastair Abraham Holmes, here.
SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left)
Founded as an alliance in 2004, SYRIZA is a regroupment of left organizations around Synaspismos, by far from largest component. Since July 2013, SYRIZA is a unified party with no constituent organizations. Two main currents are active inside SYRIZA: the majority, itself a constellation of various currents, the main being Left Unity, around Alexis Tsipras; and the “Left Platform” led by Panagiotis Lafazanis and Antonis Davanellos (30% at the 2013 Congress). The Left Platform has its origins in the Left Current of Synaspismos, mainly cadres and trade unionists having who left the KKE in 1991. The meteoric rise of SYRIZA started in 2012 (16,8% in May elections, 26,9% in June). In the previous elections Syriza’s scores oscillated between 5.7% in 2007 and 4.6% in 2009.
Synaspismos (originally called Coalition of the Left and Progress and renamed Coalition of the Left and of the Movements) started as an electoral coalition between KKE and EAR for the general elections of 1989. After participating in a coalition government with New Democracy (June 1989) and in one with New Democracy and PASOK (November 1989), the KKE split in 1991 with a significant minority leaving the party and joining Synaspismos. Synaspismos was transformed into a party and EAR dissolved into it.
EAR (Greek Left) was founded in 1987 as the result of the split of the KKE (interior) and regrouped the rightist fraction of the party, on a “right Eurocommunist” line. Led by Leonidas Kyrkos from 87 to 1989, and then until its merger into Synaspismos by Fotis Kouvelis. Most members left Synaspismos in 2010 to create DIMAR led by Kouvelis and his followers.
AKOA (Renewing Communist Ecological Left). One of the ex-constituents of SYRIZA. Its origins are in the left fraction of the KKE (interior). After the 1987 split, it initially called itself the Greek Communist Party of the Interior Renewed Left, and in 1991 was renamed as AKOA. Related to the weekly newspaper Epohi (Era).
KKE (interior) (Communist Party of Greece – interior). Result of a major split in KKE in 1968, during the dictatorship. Established relations with the Italian Communist Party and endorsed Euro-communism. Split in 1987 into EAR and what later became AKOA.
KOE (Communist Organization of Greece). One of the most significant organizations of Maoist origin, product of a split in the KKE (m-l) in 1982. Puts forward a populist line focusing on the “national” or “patriotic” elements of the resistance to austerity, aligned with the majority current in SYRIZA.
DEA (Internationalist Workers’ Left). Originated as a split of SEK in 2001 and is part of Syriza since its foundation. Since 2012 collaborates with the Left Current to constitute the Left Platform. In December 2014 they reunited with Kokkoino (a previous split from DEA). Has observer status in the Fourth International (United Secretariat).
Communist Platform. Greek section of the International Marxist Tendency, led by Alan Woods. Not part of the Left Platform
KKE (Communist Party of Greece). Founded in 1918, it reached a membership of hundreds of thousands during the Nazi occupation (1941-1944), leading the National Liberation Front (EAM). Went underground after the Civil War and legalized only after the fall of the Colonels´ dictatorship (1974). Followed the official pro-Moscow line until the fall of USSR. Suffered the split of its youth in 1989, because of its coalition (through Synaspismos) with New Democracy. Managed to recover its losses through the ´90s and 2000s, with its active participation in the labor movement, the movement against the war in Yugoslavia, and the student movement. Electorally reached a high of 9,5% in the European Elections of 2004 and 8,5% in May 2012 general elections. Holds a sectarian line of not coordinating in the mass movements.
DIMAR (Democratic Left). The origins of DIMAR are in the “Renewal Wing” of Synaspismos, associated with cadre coming from EAR. DIMAR after getting a 6,3% in the elections of June 2012 decided to join a coalition government with New Democracy and PASOK. DIMAR broke from the government one year after, at the moment of the closure of the public broadcaster (ERT).
ANTARSYA (Anticapitalist Left Cooperation for the Overthrow). The main front of the Greek far Left. Was formed out of the merger of two previous smaller coalitions, after the experience of December 2008 revolt. ANTARSYA, has a strong presence in social movements through the fronts in which it participates (13% for the student front EAAK in 2014 elections, very strong presence in public sector unions). Presence in local elections (e.g. 2,2% in the Attica region in XXXX.) It has a number of elected councilors in local governments. It took 1,2% in the May 2012 elections but saw its vote collapse to 0,33% one month after. In the Euroelections of 2014 went back to 0,72%. Its main political position is that there can be no exit from the current economic and social crisis without a halt to debt repayments, exit from the Eurozone and the European Union, nationalization of Banks and strategic enterprises. In the 2015 general election it formed an electoral coalition (ANTARSYA-MARS) with other radical left and anti-EU groups.
NAR (New Left Current). The biggest constituent of ANTARSYA, originating in the youth wing of the KKE, splitting from the party in 1989 due to disagreements over the coalition government with New Democracy. Eclectic in its ideological references, has played a leading role in the regroupment of the revolutionary left in the student movement, and has a network of prominent militant activists in the unions.
SEK (Socialist Workers’ Party). Founded in the early 1970s as the “Organisation Socialist Revolution” is one of the revolutionary left organizations emerging through the collapse of the dictatorship in 1974. Belongs to the International Socialist Tendency. Publishes the weekly newspaper Ergatiki Allileggyi (Workers Solidarity). It is the second biggest constituent of ANTARSYA. Has a prominent role in the anti-fascist, antiracist movement and roots in some unions.
ARAN (Left Recomposition) is the third biggest constituent of ANTARSYA. With theoretical references to Althusser, Poulantzas and Gramsci, it has insisted on the need for political fronts that can be political laboratories and constituent processes for a new radical Left. Strong presence in student unions, but also in unions and local movements.
OKDE-Spartakos (Organization of Communist Internationalists of Greece –Spartakos) Section of the Fourth International (United Secretariat) in Greece, one of the historic organizations of the revolutionary left in Greece.
ARAS (Left Anti-Capitalist Group) and Aristeri Syspeirosi (Left Regroupment). These are smaller groups, within ANTARSYA. They share with ARAN the same origins in the student movement of the 1980s, and the experience of the independent left groups within universities and share theoretical references to Althusserianism.
EKKE (Revolutionary Communist Movement of Greece). A small organization with a long tradition. Of Maoist and Guevarist origins, it was one of the most prominent organization of the revolutionary left in the years after the fall of the dictatorship.
Plan B is a group of militants insisting on the centrality of the break with the European Union as the necessary starting point (the necesssary "Plan B") for any progressive politics. Alekos Alavanos, ex leader of SYRIZA is a leading figure in Plan B.
Xekinima - Socialist Internationalist Organisation - is the Greek affiliate of the Committee for a Workers International. It started out as an oppositional grouping in PASOK in the 1970s, but had been expelled by the late 1980s. It was a component of SYRIZA between 2007 and 2011, on the hard left wing of the (then) coalition. It continues to call for a SYRIZA vote and campaigned for a SYRIZA victory in the 2015 election. It is best known for its work amongst refugees and migrants, but also works in the unions, in community struggles and amongst students.
OKDE (Organization of Communists Internationalists of Greece). Small organization, split with OKDE-Spartakos in the 1980s. Claims to be loyal to orthodox Trotskyism with a workerist orientation.
EEK (Workers’ Revolutionary Party).Trotskyist organization, allied in the 1970s and 80s with Gerry Healy’s Workers’ Revolutionary Party. Participates in the Coordinating Committee for the Refoundation of the Fourth International (CRFI).
M-L KKE (Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of Greece). Maoist organization with origins in the Maoist current of the 1970s. Remained relevant through its presence in the school teachers’ movement. They participate in the elections in coalition with KKE (m-l).
KKE (m-l) (Communist Party of Greece (Marxist-Leninist)). One of the organizations that came out of the Maoist current in the 1970s. Active in student and neighborhood movements. Takes part in the elections in coalition with M-L KKE.
OAKKE: the Organisation for the Reconstriuction o the the Greek Communist Party was formed in 1985 out of the Maoist milieux, by former members of EKKE and the ml KKE. It takes its ideological position from Mao's doctrines following the Sino-Soviet split - identifying Moscow as an imperialist force (then and now). A further emphasis on Dengist theorisation of industrialisation in China leads to an essentially "modernising position" in relation to Greece. The older and newer Sino-Marxist positions are united in a theory which holds Moscow, via the rest of the Left and the Orthodox Church, as responsible for Greek backwardness. It could not afford to stand in the elections of 2015. It called on supporters 1) to write OAKKE on their ballot and 2) explicitly not to vote for Syriza or Golden Dawn. Thus bringing it, via a Maoist detour, to the exact political resting place of Antonis Samaras and his theory of the two extremes.
Revolutionary Communist Party (Posadist): a very tiny group, Greek section of the Posadist International. Publishes the newspaper “Kommounistiki Εnotita – Communist Unity”. Oriented towards the KKE in the 80’s. At some stage entered SYRIZA.
Revolutionary Communist Party: founded in 2008 by ex-members of “Xekinima” (CWI), EEK and “Workers’ Power” (now defunct). Publishes the newspaper “Syntrofos – Comrade”. In elections, they vote for Antarsya.
KED (Communist Revolutionary Action) was founded in 2013. The majority of its members left SYRIZA (“Red Orchestra” group) and joined with other individuals. The Leadership is of Morenoite origin. In January 2015 elections voted for SYRIZA. Publishes the e-zine “AvantGarde”.
KTU (Communist Trotskyist Union, ex-KOEE: Communist Organization of Revolutionary Workers): of Morenoite origin. Founded by Yanis Veruchis (1931-2010), a historic figure of Greek Trotskyism. Publishes “Sosialistiki Prooptiki – Socialist Perspective”.