Leftist Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza party have survived a snap-election, Greece’s third in a year.
Tsipras called the election after coming to an agreement with its Eurozone creditors to get a new 85 billion euro bailout.
Greece rejected proposed austerity measures that were the condition of a bailout through a referendum over the summer, but Tsipras then negotiated an even more severe bailout later on, saying at the time that this was the only way forward.
With this election victory, Tsipras now has the mandate he needs to carry out his pledge to enact the austerity conditions of the bailout.
“Today in Europe, Greece and the Greek people are synonymous with resistance and dignity. This struggle will be continued together for a full four years,” he said. “We have difficulties ahead of us but we also have a solid ground, we know where we can step, we have a prospect. Recovery from the crisis can’t come magically, but it can come through tough work,” Tsipras continued.
Tsipras’ victory is not unconditional however, Syriza fell short of winning a majority government.
Syriza won about 35.5 percent of the vote, with their rivals, the center-right New Democracy Party winning 28 percent.
Tsipras has said that he will form a coalition government with independent right-wing greek parliament members in order to govern effectively.
The electoral turnout was disappointing however, just 55 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, down from 63 percent in an election back in the earlier part of the year that brought Tsipras to power the first time.
The Eurozone is taking this election as a sign that Greece is serious about staying in the Euro currency.
“Ready to work closely with the Greek authorities and to continue accompanying Greece in its ambitious reform efforts,” tweeted Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Dutch head of the Eurogroup of finance ministers that use the single currency.
[Reuters] [USA Today]