By catapulting to power an improbable alliance of the hard left and nationalist far right, Greece has shaken up Europe's political kaleidoscope and may have signaled the end of an era of centrist consensus.
With eight general elections due in the European Union this year, as well as regional votes, the earthquake in Athens may be a harbinger of other shocks to come.
Expect the unexpected in 2015 from Britain to Finland and Denmark to Spain as voters who have endured five years of economic crisis, falling real incomes and welfare cuts vent their anger, anxiety or apathy at the ballot boxes.
Mainstream center-right and center-left parties that have dominated European politics since the end of World War Two are bleeding support to populists at both ends of the spectrum, and to mavericks like Italian comic-turned-politician Beppe Grillo.
This theme will be prominent during Reuters' annual euro zone summit this week which will interview a host of policymakers from Brussels and key EU capitals.
In many countries, voters feel the established parties offer no real alternative. Many are keen to punish a ruling "caste" perceived as out of touch with ordinary people's concerns, and as helping themselves rather than their electors.
What unites many of the new forces is hostility to the EU and to policies of austerity driven from Brussels and Berlin.
"We've reached the end of a 30-year cycle of liberal individualism and wealth accumulation that began with Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher," former British Europe minister Denis MacShane said in an interview.
"We're in for at least half a decade of turbulence and uncertainty in Europe."
MacShane, whose latest book "Brexit: how Britain will leave Europe" is due out in February, says the last such period of flux was in the 1970s, when a post-war consensus on the welfare state, a mixed economy with a big government role and collective bargaining crumbled, at least in Britain and the United States.
Whether anti-establishment outsiders will win power anywhere other than Greece remains to be seen. But they seem set to make government more awkward and less stable everywhere.
"In hindsight, the governments we have had in Europe since 2011 may have been as good as it gets," said Tina Fordham, chief global political analyst at U.S. bank Citi. "The outlook everywhere is for weaker governments with significant unpredictable, untested non-mainstream components."
Greeks have suffered higher unemployment, deeper poverty and more social dislocation than any other Europeans since they became the first euro zone country to seek an international bailout in 2010.
Greece is also probably the country where the traditional political class has been most discredited by corruption scandals and tax avoidance, nepotism and fiddled statistics.
Spain's two mainstream parties that have alternated in power since the fall of fascism have also been tarnished by a string of sleaze affairs. They are seen by many Spaniards as sharing the blame for the collapse of a property bubble that triggered tough austerity measures.