Syriza’s historic win puts Greece on collision course with Europe

 Supporters of the opposition Syriza party cheer the results in Athens, Greece. Photograph: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images Europe

Supporters of the opposition Syriza party cheer the results in Athens, Greece. Photograph: Milos Bicanski/Getty Images Europe

European politics has been plunged into a volatile new era following a historic victory in Greece’s general election by far-left radicals committed to ending years of austerity.

More than five years into the euro crisis that started in Greece in October 2009 and raised questions about the single currency’s survival, Greek voters roundly rejected the savage spending cuts and tax rises imposed by Europe which reduced the country to penury.

Voters handed power to Alexis Tsipras, the charismatic 40-year-old former communist who leads the umbrella coalition of assorted leftists known as Syriza. He cruised to an eight-point victory over the incumbent centre-right New Democracy party, according to exit polls and projections after 93% of votes had been counted.

The result surpassed pollster predictions and marginalised the two mainstream parties that have run the country since the military junta’s fall in 1974. It appeared last night, however, that Syriza would win 149 seats – just short of securing the 151 of 300 seats that would enable Tsipras to govern without coalition partners.

“The sovereign Greek people today have given a clear, strong, indisputable mandate,” Tsipras told a crowd of rapturous flag-waving party supporters. “Greece has turned a page. Greece is leaving behind the destructive austerity, fear and authoritarianism. It is leaving behind five years of humiliation and pain.”

 Alexis Tsipras raises his fist to supporters after winning the elections. Photograph: Giorgos Moutafis/Reuters

Alexis Tsipras raises his fist to supporters after winning the elections. Photograph: Giorgos Moutafis/Reuters

Read more at The Guardian

For the latest updates on the Greek election see Matthew Weaver’s post at the Guardian

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Categories: Europe, Greece, History, Politics, Top stories, World history, World news

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1 reply

  1. Now comes the difficult thing: How to rescue Greece’s economy without subsidies from the EU. The interesting thing about the economic crisis in Greece is that it has been cited by American Neoliberals as a poster child for the consequences of a socialist, liberal economic model. The irony is that Greece’s economic woes are largely the consequence of a Republican-style spend-and-tax-cut trickle-down theory. Kansas is suffering a similar fate on a smaller scale due to an almost identical economic model.

    Liked by 2 people

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