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Article

The “Greferendum” in the Danish daily press

Race and Class. 2018. Vol. 59. No. 3. P. 51-66.
Mylonas Y., Noutsou M.

This article presents a critical analysis of the Danish press coverage of the referendum called by the Left-led coalition government of Greece in July 2015, concerning the future of austerity policies. It focuses on the conservative daily press of Denmark, one of the ‘core’ EU countries, writing on developments in the periphery. Three main themes emerge in the study’s discourse analysis of Berlingske Tidende’s and Jyllands Posten’s coverage: ‘post-democratic realism’, ‘the upper-class gaze’, and ‘Orientalism and cultural racism’. The authors not only reveal the one-sided, elitist coverage by the rightwing papers at Europe’s centre but also point out how the principles of neoliberalism itself and the acceptance of austerity are being constantly reinforced by the media in a country like Denmark, which had previously been marked out for its more progressive welfare capitalism. Denmark’s turn to the Right (and to racism) alongside its biased coverage of the ‘Greferendum’ are examined here in the context of the way in which neoliberalism and its politico-social effects are now presented as both common sense and the only way forward.