Examining Greece’s capacity for Environmental Sustainability (ES) under Syriza

John Karamichas

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Syriza came to power after the snapped elections of January 2015 by forming a government in coalition with the right-wing populist, Independent Greeks (ANEL). Any fears expressed in relation to a possible downgrading of some liberal (e.g. same-sex unions, citizenship to second generation immigrants) and environmental sustainability (ES) proclamations that Syriza had made in its electoral manifesto (Thessaloniki programme) that ANEL and the old-left current may thwart them were put aside and on the ES front appeared secured, after all the environmental portfolio was given to a prominent environmentalist. Since then, Syriza led the country to a referendum and a national election that was essentially asking for approval of a new austerity programme. After setting that background, this paper proceeds by subscribing to the rationale that in times of financial instability and uncertainty, the environmental concern is likely to be downgraded among the issue priorities of both the government and general citizenry. By extension, that concern appears to enter into an interdependent relationship to many environmental policy and governance parameters. As such, this paper uses environmental concern as a centrifugal separator and embarks upon an investigation of capacity for ES in Greece. The indicators will be compared to findings from the austerity period before the advents of Syriza. That comparison is complemented with findings by interviews with environmental activists. The concluding remarks reinforce the perception that any negativities identified in the Greek capacity for ES can be mostly attributed to perennial internal limitations rather than systemic, external imbued commands.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2017


  • Capacity-building
  • environmental sustainability
  • austerity
  • Syriza
  • Greece

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Examining Greece’s capacity for Environmental Sustainability (ES) under Syriza'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this