The three memoranda signed between various Greek governments and the creditor Troika have been one of the most important European political issues in this decade, generating a lot of journalistic and scholarly interest. This article presents findings from a framing analysis conducted on three mainstream Greek newspapers (Avgi, Kathimerini, Ta Nea). These frames were compared with the advocate frames promoted through the announcements of the four constant parties in the Greek Parliament throughout this period (PASOK, Nea Dimokratia, SYRIZA, KKE), in order to shed light on the range of democratic debate fostered by the media and the political opinions that were legitimated through their application in the press.
Starting with the first memorandum in 2010 the examination of frames from all three newspapers reveals the range of the debate. The memorandum is discussed mainly in terms of the division between those who are for it and against it, and its good and bad qualities. The framing of the newspapers follows the advocate frames of the two larger parties PASOK and ND, whereas SYRIZA, a marginal party at that point, also manages to be included, because it’s frames fit on the range of legitimate opinions. All the newspapers apply advocate frames by three out of the four major political parties, whereas none of them includes KKE frames. From a market perspective the positions of KKE are not interesting, as lower income workers form it’s main electoral base. Additionally, the examination of the exclusion of the frame from a political and ideological standpoint reveals the limits of the liberal consensus. The analysis of the frames in 2010 reveals that positions that promote a wider criticism of the capitalist mode of production fall outside the acceptable limits of debate. The main frames construct the debate around the issues of efficiency of the measures, their impact, and issues of sovereignty and democracy. The causal attribution dimension revolves around the political game with the parties accusing each other for the crisis, while there is also some blame attributed to the troika. Finally, the solutions discussed concern the future of the memorandum with positions ranging from the necessity of the successful implementation of the program, to its adjustment or complete cancelation. The application of frames is not identical by all newspapers, reflecting a multitude of evaluative positions. Nonetheless, the debate is set around the memorandum without addressing wider reaching topics and alternatives that would question the economic system, which was under a crisis globally. This framing of the debate cuts off the Greek crisis from the global developments and treats it as an issue of management of the system, to be solved by the system itself. Continue reading