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26 January 2015

Anti-austerity party Syriza wins Greece’s general election

The party’s leader, and future prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has vowed to end Greece’s “five years of humiliation and pain”.

By New Statesman

The anti-austerity party, Syriza, won the general election in Greece on Sunday. It is just two seats short of an absolute majority, and its leader, Alexis Tsipras, will be the country’s next prime minister.

The party’s pledge is to renegotiate the terms of Greece’s dramatic international bailout, which has inflicted years of difficult austerity on the country. Tsipras has vowed to end, “five years of humiliation and pain”.

Syriza’s win, joyously celebrated by supporters in Greece and other left-wing, anti-austerity parties throughout Europe – including the UK’s Greens – has caused concern among others about Greece’s future in the eurozone and the prospect of Grexit. David Cameron has voiced a warning following the result, saying it will, “increase economic uncertainty across Europe”.

The euro fell to $1.11 against the US dollar following the election result, which is the lowest level it has fallen to in over a decade.

An elected Syriza member told the BBC’s Today programme this morning that his party’s win is a “poisoned chalice” because of the pressures ahead to satisfy the majority of the Greek electorate that has been hit so hard by austerity policies devised by the EU and Germany.

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