A “vindicated” Alexis Tsipras hailed what he called a “clear victory” for his left-wing Syriza party in the Greek parliamentary elections in front of crowds of jubilant supporters in Athens on Monday adding that his party now had a “crystal clear mandate” to lead a government against “vulgarity and corruption”, Greek news agency Ekathimerini reports.
With close to 100 percent of the votes counted, the leftist party of Alexis Tsipras has won over 35 percent which gives it 145 seats in parliament. The neo-Nazis of Golden Dawn remain in third place, but it’s a very distant third on 7.0% (up 0.7%). Mr Tsipras took a risk after 25 members of his party split over the bailout he signed up to, and it has paid off.
Tsipras even managed to weather the defection of 25 of his lawmakers who formed a rival anti-austerity party in the wake of his deal with global creditors for a new 86-billion-euro ($97-billion) rescue.
A commentator on a Greek news channel Skai was discussing with her colleagues the lowest voter turnout in Greece since written records have been kept for election- Only 55% of eligible voters went to the polls on September 20th to elect their next prime minister.
“In Europe today, Greece and the Greek people are synonymous with resistance and dignity, and this struggle will be continued together for another four years”.
Tsipras was re-forming his previous government with his former coalition partner, the small right-wing populist Independent Greeks who narrowly made it into parliament in seventh place in Sunday’s election.
“The market had pretty much discounted a Syriza win and there is some profit-taking, but prices are attractive”, said fund manager Costis Morianos, head of Athens-based Asset Wise Capital Management. Tsipras on Sunday night announced that he will form a coalition government with Independent Greeks.
“I expected a victory, but not by such a big margin”, Makrigianni said as she hugged friends. “I congratulate him and urge him to create the government which is needed”, said Meimarakis.
The bailout Tsipras agreed to, which kept Greece in the eurozone, was widely seen as more severe than the original offer and included new taxes and spending cuts.
Apart from Golden Dawn and the communist KKE party, the major parties in the new parliament have now all accepted the cash-for-reforms deal to keep Greece in the euro zone.
He has to steer the country through reforms demanded in the bailout, the recapitalisation of banks, an economic recession and a potentially explosive migrant crisis, the centre-left Ta Nea newspaper said in an editorial.