EU membership has been for the greater part of the post-authoritarian period (1974–2010) an important element of the Greek national consensus. Europe was commonly associated in public discourse with geopolitical security, democratic institutions and economic prosperity. Moreover, accession to the European Monetary Union in 2001 was celebrated as proof of a successful national course and as promise for economic growth. Nevertheless, challenges to pro-Europeanism both from the left and from the extreme right have risen in the context of the economic crisis (2010–2015). While Euro-sceptical attitudes are still a minority within Greek society – but significantly increased in relation to past trends – the discursive negotiation of Europe in the Greek public debate is characterized by ambiguity and has acquired various negative connotations (e.g. austerity policies, authoritarianism, German hegemony, democratic deficit in decision-making). In the highly-polarized Greek political debate, a new cleavage has emerged based on the acceptance or rejection of the loan agreements and the austerity policies associated with them (the so-called pro- vs. anti-memorandum cleavage) which have also transformed traditional Left vs. Right cleavage thus allowing for political alliances between left-ward and right-ward parties. It remains to be seen whether the new cleavage will take the form of a clash between pro-Europeanists vs. Euroscepticists as it is often argued in the context of Grexit scenarios. While this new dichotomy can be misleading especially if it is unambiguously interpreted in cultural terms, it describes a newly formed social and political tension that is under process. A special chapter in this respect is the currency debate; the dilemma between the euro and the drachma represents distinct ideological paradigms and power structures. The present chapter explores the discursive negotiation of Europe in the context of the Greek public debate analysing discourses produced both by political elites and mass media with special focus on the 2015 referendum campaign and the implications of the July 2015 Greece-EU agreement.
Lialiouti, Z. (2017), "From National Consensus to a New Cleavage? The Discursive Negotiation of Europe in the Greek Public Debate During the Economic Crisis, 2010–2015", Karner, C. and Kopytowska, M. (Ed.) National Identity and Europe in Times of Crisis, Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 161-185. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78714-513-920171008Download as .RIS
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited