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Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    Greek political parties traditionally were based largely on personal connections and personalities, lacking real organizations with mass membership and tending to appeal to narrow segments of the electorate. Greeks pursued their own contacts--usually through a patron-client relationship--to promote their individual interests, rather than developing and pursuing common interests through mass political organizations or interest groups.

    PASOK was the first mainstream party to apply discipline and organizational work to the process of party politics. Early in its first term, the PASOK government also enacted a law to provide state subsidies to the parties to minimize the undue influences that private funding exerted on the operation of political parties. In the 1980s, the other parties, most notably the ND, were somewhat successful in emulating PASOK's organizational techniques. By the mid-1990s, Greek parties generally had become more mass-based and issue-oriented as they moved toward the model of West European political systems. This evolution was eased by the urbanization and industrialization that Greece had experienced for the previous forty years (see Demography , ch. 2).

    Nevertheless, clientelism still pervades Greek politics in the mid-1990s. PASOK, which had made the abolition of rousfeti (personal favors arranged by politicians for their constituents) one of the principal themes of its message of change, itself became one of the most accomplished practitioners of mass clientelism in modern Greek history. In the early to mid-1990s, repeated allegations of corruption and misuse of public funds are indications that the corrosive party practices of the 1980s are still in force.

    Data as of December 1994

    NOTE: The information regarding Greece on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greece POLITICAL PARTIES information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greece POLITICAL PARTIES should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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