Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Populist Left Takes Command of Greece

The stunning victory of left wing Syriza party and its charismatic young leader Alexis Tsipras (40-years old) is the result of five years of austerity and massive loss of personal and national Greek wealth.

Although pre-election polls showed the Syriza was going to win, late momentum got them close enough to a majority to easily form a government (joined with right wing, anti-austerity ANEL Party that won 13 seats).

Those same pre-election polls showed that most voters are not in favor of leaving the EU or the euro,
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
nor are they nearly as far left as Syriza and most of its new parliamentary members. What the public wanted is a tough negotiator for a new deal with Brussels and Berlin (technically must deal with ECB, IMF and EC).

Tsipras ran a very brief and smart campaign using basic populist themes with anti-establishment and nationalist slogans. He also affectively rallied the left.
  • Our national humiliation will be over soon.
  • History is knocking at our door.
  • The time of the left has come.
  • Our common future in Europe is not the future of austerity, it is future of democracy, solidarity and cooperation.
  • Hope is coming. The opposition are merchants of fear.
  • The vicious cycle of austerity is over. 
The Guardian: Tsipras declares end to 'vicious cycle of austerity' after Syriza wins Greek election – as it happened
Reuters: Greek leftist leader Tsipras scores victory over austerity
HuffPost Exclusive: Greece Pre-Election Poll
The Guardian: Syriza stretches poll lead as Greek election campaign ends
The Economist: The euro’s next crisis

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