The Calendar of History Marks the 21st Century
Syriza marked a stunning victory in yesterday’s (25 January) Greek snap elections, but did not ensure an absolute majority. Its leader, Alexis Tsipras, said the “vicious cycle of austerity” is over, triggering mixed reactions in the EU, reports www.euractiv.com.
Ahead of today’s (26 January) crucial meeting of Eurogroup, Tsipras stated that the Greek public debt is not viable, and asked for its restructuring, which amounts to 177% of GDP. During his election campaign, he also committed to ending austerity-driven policies which led Greece to a “humanitarian crisis”.
With the 90% of the votes counted, leftist Syriza won 36.3% of the vote, followed by its main rival centre-right New Democracy with 27.8% and the far-right Golden Dawn with 6.3%. The newly established centrist Potami (“The River”) came in fourth, with 6% of the vote, the Communist Party 5.5% and the right –wing Independent Greeks 4.7% [ECR].
The “battle” between the Socialist parties that did not run in a united front in the elections, saw traditional S&D partner Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement getting into the new parliament with 4.7% and the Movement of Democratic Socialists of former PM Giorgos Papandreou, not managing to reach the 3% threshold.
According to the results, Syriza gets 149 of the 300-seat parliament, and needs just two votes to form a coalition government. Syriza has made it clear that it will not cooperate with austerity-related parties, something that opens the way for cooperation with anti-austerity Greek Independents (13 seats). A possible coalition with the Potami as well should not be ruled out.
“I hope the River will now play a key role in any coalition Government [...] It is the only party that will be able to tame the Eurosceptic tendencies of both the left and the right,” said ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt.