Early days but WOWWOWWOW!!!!!!! Syriza, the anti austerity party wins. The Greek people have spoken. AMEN!!! F*&k the troika and the banksters!. John Key be afraid, be very afraid!
An anti-austerity party has won a landmark election victory in Greece which critics fear could force the Eurozone into a fresh crisis.
With 97 per cent of the votes counted, radical leftist party Syriza was set to have 149 seats in parliament – just short of the 151 it needs to rule outright.
It won 36 per cent of the vote, compared to 28 per cent for the ruling conservatives, in a stark message to the EU despite the outgoing Prime Minister warning Greece would be on the ‘brink of catastrophe’ and David Cameron saying the result would ‘increase economic uncertainty across Europe’.
The Euro hit an 11-year low within hours of the result, trading at $1.1098 – down 0.8 per cent and its lowest level since September 2003.
As outgoing premier Antonis Samaras phoned Syriza’s leader to concede defeat tonight, jubilant supporters waved flags on the streets of Athens.
‘The Greek people have spoken’, said Mr Samaras in a televised statement. ‘Everyone respects their decision. My conscience is clear.’
Syriza’s leader Alexis Tsipras told a rally of thousands of supporters he would defeat ‘austerity which destroys our common European future’, his speech backed by the booming sounds of Rock the Casbah by The Clash.
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Jubilant: Syriza supporters celebrate victory in the Greek general election, in which the anti-austerity party triumphed over ruling conservatives
Emotional: Projections suggested Syriza was due to receive between 149 seats – just short of the 151 it would need for an overall majority
Syriza’s supporters (pictured) were told the party will help Greece ‘come out of a vicious circle of debt’ by axing austerity measures
‘Our priority above all will be to restore the country’s lost dignity,’ Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras, 40, told a rally of thousands of supporters
The radical left party leader, whose son is named after Che Guevara, promised to clash with ‘old establishments’ and the ‘regime of corruption’
‘I would like to reassure you that the new Greek government will be ready to co-operate and negotiate for the first time with our partners for a mutually beneficial and sustainable solution so Greece comes out of a vicious circle of debt,’ he said.
‘We have a great opportunity for a new beginning both in Greece and in Europe. For a new policy, for a new model of relations based on mutual respect.
‘Our priority from tomorrow will be to restore popular sovereignty in the country, to give justice, to clash with old establishments. To clash with the regime of corruption. To promote reforms in the state, public administration, everywhere.
‘Our priority above all will be to restore the country’s lost dignity. We regain hope, we regain smiles, optimism and dignity for our people.’
Greece’s economy was saved by bailouts totalling more than £180billion from the EU and the IMF after its economy collapsed in the global financial crisis from 2007. But in order to qualify for the money, it had to make sweeping public sector cuts.
The outgoing Prime Minister was unrepentant. He said: ‘I received a country which was almost destroyed and I was asked to take the hot potato and I did that.
‘Most people didn’t give any prospects that we would endure… We had to take difficult measures and there were some mistakes and injustices but we averted the worst.
Cheering: Syriza’s supporters celebrated having an estimated 36 per cent of the vote, compared to the conservatives’ 28 per cent
The supporters were told: ‘Our priority from tomorrow will be to restore popular sovereignty in the country, to give justice, to clash with old establishments. To clash with the regime of corruption. To promote reforms in the state, public administration, everywhere’
Uncompromising: Greece has built up years of resentment to austerity and bailout measures imposed by the European Central Bank
Jubilant: Syriza supporters waved everything from rainbow flags to those bearing Communist symbolism as they heard of their victory
Emotional: After being crippled by debt, Greece has undergone enforced austerity with a youth unemployment rate of 50 per cent
‘I am handing over a country that has no deficit, secure for the citizens… a country that gets out of the crisis in an organised way.
‘I wish sincerely that my predictions do not come true, but I had to warn everyone.’
Syriza is led by the 40-year-old Alexis Tsipras, who looks set to be Greece’s youngest Prime Minister for 150 years.
He is known for his relaxed attitude, travelling by motorbike and preferring open-necked shirts to a suit and tie.
He lives in an apartment block in a working-class suburb of Athens with his partner and two children – the youngest of whom has the middle name Ernesto after revolutionary Che Guevara.
His party wants to renegotiate the terms of Greece’s 240billion Euro bailout with the EU and the International Monetary Fund.
It says repayments are stifling Greece’s chances of recovering from a six-year recession – but its popularity spooked markets which fear a new financial crisis could push Greece out of the Euro.
Syriza party spokesman Panos Skourletis said it was ‘a historic victory that sends a message that does not only concern the Greek people, but all European peoples.
‘There is great relief among all Europeans. The only question is how big a victory it is.’