There is a grand total of forty-nine parties in Greece registered to contest in the elections for the European Parliament on May 26 — ranging from the extreme to the absurd.
Although the country has only twenty-one seats in the European Parliament, multiparty participation in Greece is not a surprise. Forty-three different parties ran candidates in the previous EU elections in 2014, and twenty-seven contested for power in 2009.
Despite the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn remaining the strongest party in the far-right camp, there are more than ten far-right groups, attracting fans of Marine Le Pen, Matteo Salvini, and monarchists, in contention this Spring.
There is also a strong representation of “Eurosceptic” leftist parties as well. Six parties are founded by ex-ministers of Greece’s conservative New Democracy Party.
This time there are two political groups representing minority communities, including the “Rainbow” of the Slavic-speaking minority and the other, representing the Turkic-speaking Muslim minority of Greece.
The Greek electoral system has a three-percent threshold for representation in the European Parliament.
According to recent opinion polls, only five parties will be able to reach that threshold: the governing SYRIZA Party, main opposition party New Democracy, the center-left Movement for Change, Golden Dawn, and the Communist party, or KKE.