Greece Elects Anti-Austerity Syriza Party; Showdown Begins With International Creditors

Opposition leader and head of radical leftist Syriza party,  Tsipras addresses supporters during a campaign in central AthensSyriza party leader Alexis Tsipras is expected to be sworn in on Monday and have a new Greek government in place by Wednesday after Syriza party won 149 seats in Greece’s 300 member parliament, two seats short of an absolute majority, in Greece’s snap election on Sunday that handed Greece with new leaders seeking to overturn its imposed austerity program and chart a new course for Greece in the European Union as it grows impatient following structural fiscal reform measures.

During a victory speech, Tspiras sounded like a liberationist fighting an unjust opprerssive force that invaded Europe made up of northern Eurpopean austerity imperialists that have called for deeper Greek pension cuts, more tax collections, and public spending limits.

Tsipras said that the victory for his party on Sunday was a “victory for all peoples of Europe fighting austerity” and “it makes the Troika a thing of the past” as he explained that his government would seek to find a solution to end its massive debt while eliminating corruption.

It remains unclear if Tsipras is truly capable of renegotiating with Greece’s international creditors and achieving any success pushing for an elimination of austerity measures or a write off with Greece’s €322 billion of public debt.

Hanging in the balance is Grece’s €240 billion international bailout package from the so called troika of international creditors from the ECB, European Union, and the IMF that has a February 28th deadline for Greece’s compliance with its austerity progam.

A delay of that deadline could jeopardize a liquidity line of €40billion targeted for Greece’s vulnerable banks.

Greece’s international creditors have insisted that Athens must still honor its bailout agreement if it is to receive continued financial support.

Euro area finance ministers are meeting on Monday to threaten Athens’ newly forming government and make it known that  renegotiations of Greece’s debt will close down unless Athens fulfills its earlier commitment of following austerity and fiscal reforms.

-Johnathan Schweitzer

 

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