Anti-austerity Syriza party has won Greece’s general election, putting the Mediterranean country on a possible collision course with the European Union over its massive bailout. With the left-wing party leader, Alexis Tsipras, declaring that “the Greeks wrote history”, Syriza’s overwhelming victory has sent shockwaves through Europe. Syriza fell just short of an outright majority while the governing center-right New Democracy has come a distant second. The elections results essentially mean that a majority of Greek voters rejected the key policy of the outgoing government for dealing with the eurozone crisis as devised by Brussels and Berlin.
As the chief economics spokesman for the far-left Syriza party, Euclid Tsakalotos, told EUBULLETIN, “We have always said that it is completely unrealistic to expect Greece to repay its massive debt in full.” Syriza’s leaders want to renegotiate Greece’s 240 billion euro bailout by international lenders. Meanwhile, in the wake of Syriza’s landmark victory, EU leaders have warned the new Greek government led by the party’s leader Alexis Tsipras that it must stick to its commitments to the creditors.
“If you talk to economists who are well-informed about the current economic situation in Greece, they would all agree that there is no way our country could pay back all of that debt. It can’t be reasonably done,” said Mr Tsakalotos and stressed that EU leaders should now show their willingness to work with the new Syriza-led government. Mr Tsipras earlier stressed that he did not want confrontation but instead negotiation with international lenders. Meanwhile, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker warned that Greece cannot expect any reduction of its debt commitments. This position was echoed all across the eurozone with the spokesman for German government stressing that it was important for Greece to “take measures so that the economic recovery continues”.