How do you do, fellow kids? Greek politicians court TikTok generation

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ATHENS ̵1; Angry youth have become a focal point ahead of Greece’s national election.

As the country prepares to vote on Sunday, May 21, politicians across the spectrum are racing to learn the language of Gen Z. (Mostly) middle-aged men in suits of Greek politics are posting on TikTok, agreeing to interviews with YouTubers, and even planning gifts for young people to secure their votes.

That’s because more than 430,000 people aged 16 to 21 will be eligible to vote for the first time on Sunday.

was a pivotal moment in the politicization of many people in that demographic train accident In February, in which 57 people died and which raised questions on the capability of the government.

“It was not only the seriousness of the accident, but also the fact that most of the victims were young students and young people could easily see themselves, their friends or brothers in their situation,” said Angelos Seriatos, head of scientific research at the pollster. Prorated.

“It confirmed very violently that Greece is not yet at the stage that other European countries are and are affected [young people’s] Politicization.

anger and shame

A wave of public anger after the train accident ravaged the country biggest performance Since the financial crisis, mainly young people have been taking to the streets across the country.

The rallies were reminiscent – albeit on a smaller scale – of the atmosphere in 2008 after a 15-year-old boy, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, was shot by a police officer. But the demonstrations aren’t the only way young Greeks have vented their frustrations: despite pledges to reverse the brain drain, Greece is losing its best and brightest young people to Western job markets.

Put it all together and you have an angry segment of the population.

“It was as if someone pulled back the tablecloth and displayed all the rot in the Greek system since the fall of the junta and the restoration of democracy, and in such a way that the youth, who weren’t really paying attention, saw and said felt material maker Nefeli Meg, who recently Interview Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on his podcast.

Meg said her fans have not forgotten the train crash and have noticed that Kostas Karamanlis, who resigned as transport minister after the fatal collision, is back in the polls for Mitsotakis’ centre-right New Democracy.

National Parliament election polls of Greece

For more voting data from across Europe visit Political opinion poll,

“It’s a joke,” she said.

the dominant feelings According to a recent survey by the Greek think tank Etron Institute, the younger generation felt anger, despair and shame after the train accident. Some 59.5 percent of those asked held the current government responsible for the conditions that led to the crash, while 58.3 blamed all previous governments. According to the same poll, eight out of ten said they intend to vote on May 21.

A huge influx of new voters should benefit according to main opposition leftist Syriza Election, But there is much support for smaller parties, such as the radical left MeRA25, the communist KKE party, as well as smaller parties on the far-right. One of the latter, the far-right National Party, was recently banned from participating in national elections, but has been able to generate an online buzz as leader Ilias Kasidiaris continues to post messages on social media from prison, where he is serving a 13-year sentence for his role within the Golden Dawn party , which was declared a criminal organization in 2020.

Despite all this, New Democracy maintains a Relatively comfortable lead in polls And seems on the way to win the election. However, a second round of voting may be needed in the summer before being able to form a government, and may still happen Support of small parties is needed to run the government.

end time vows

As the campaign entered its final two weeks – with the major parties having already published their programs for government – ​​Mitsotakis announced some additional measures, including youth passes that would give 18 and 19-year-olds access to culture, tourism and tourism. Will give €150 to spend. or transportation.

Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras hit back, saying that his first legislative act upon forming a government would be to abolish minimum exam-grade entry requirements for universities.

TikTok star Meg said, “I laugh at both propositions.”

Social media – and TikTok in particular – has become an important battleground for disseminating political messages and gaining popularity among the youth.

Mitsotakis’s TikTok account in recent weeks has been publishing “behind the scenes” videos of the election campaign, and Tsipras uses his own TikTok platform, but in a more direct way, in which left-wing leaders speak to followers.

“Traditional journalism in Greece is considered biasedThat’s why young people don’t trust mainstream media,” social media star Zoe Pree said in an interview with Tsipras.

Both Prior and Meg said that their viewers would not see televised interviews of political leaders conducted by journalists.

“Politicians had to turn to social media, but not as influencers, but as a means to pass on their message,” Pree said. “We should see a more informal human side, because these outlets demand it, but we don’t want them to cringe, start writing about their day.”