Source: Dissent Magazine
The last few years have been a bit of a rollercoaster for the European left. Riding up front has been Yanis Varoufakis, the charismatic economist and former Greek finance minister who went to war with the troika—the European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund—in 2015 as it sought to inflict brutal austerity as a penalty for his country’s debts and its decision to elect an openly left-wing government headed by Syriza. They lost that fight, but Varoufakis escaped mostly unscathed. Amid Brexit and a wave of Euroskepticism, he went on to found the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25), pushing for a more democratic and inclusive continent, free of austerity. The group mounted several candidates under the mantle of a European Spring this May, including Varoufakis himself. They failed to gain a single seat, though his vote total came in a hundredth of a percentage point below the 3 percent threshold needed to gain representation. While the center-right faltered in May, so, too, did the left.