‘5yrs of humiliation, suffering over’: Anti-austerity party to form govt in Greece

Head of radical leftist Syriza party Alexis Tsipras waves after winning elections in Athens, January 25, 2015 (Reuters / Alkis Konstantinidis)
Greece leaves behind five years of humiliation and suffering, fear and authoritarianism, said the leader of the winning Syriza party, Alexis Tsipras. He’s moving on Monday to build a stable government and plans to get rid of Athens’ three main creditors.

Tsipras was addressing thousands of cheering supporters at a rally in Athens. Syriza won 149 seats in the 300-seat parliament election.

Tsipras was sworn in as next Greek PM later on Monday. By Wednesday he will have a government in place, a Syriza official told Reuters.

On Monday, Syriza managed to gain key support to form a new government after the meeting with Panos Kammenos, the head of the anti-austerity party Independent Greeks, which also opposes Greece's bailout deal. Kammenos said his party would back Tsipras to be the next prime minister.

"From this moment there is a government in the country. The Independent Greeks give a vote of confidence in Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. There is an agreement in principle," Panos Kammenos said after talks with the Syriza leader, as cited by Reuters.

Syriza needed a coalition partner to get a working parliamentary majority of 151. Independent Greeks secured 13 seats at the election.

READ MORE: Greece’s anti-austerity Syriza party officially wins parliamentary elections

The 40-year-old leader plans to create the first eurozone government elected to undo the conservative polices of budgetary rigor imposed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Greece as a condition of the bailout back in 2010.

"The verdict of our people means the troika is finished…The verdict of the Greek people ends, beyond any doubt, the vicious circle of austerity in our country.” Tspiras was referring to three main creditors of the country – the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

He added that the new Greek government“will be ready to cooperate and negotiate for the first time with our peers a just, mutually beneficial and viable solution.”His campaign ran under the slogan "Hope is coming!"

The head of radical leftist Syriza party Alexis Tsipras speaks to supporters after winning the elections in Athens January 25, 2015 (Reuters / Marko Djurica)

Tsipras said the country’s "foremost priority” is for its people to “regain their lost dignity.”

"Our priority is to deal with the wounds of the crisis, provide justice, break with the oligarchs, the establishment and corruption…We have ahead of us a major chance for Greece and Europe."

READ MORE: EU’s bailout program for Greece ‘dead’ – Syriza economist

“We are happy because we have democracy in our country,” a Syriza supporter told RT. “We will have better healthcare and improved school system."

“We are happy to celebrate. It can’t change [in] one day, but we hope Syriza will give us democracy education and freedom of speech,” she added.

The Greek debt crisis started back in 2010 and since then the country has undertaken broad economic overhauls and cutbacks. The economy suffered a deep recession which resulted in a high unemployment rate, increasing property taxes and a low minimum wage.

EU leaders reacted differently to Syriza’s victory. France’s President Francois Hollande congratulated Tsipras, stressing "the friendship uniting France and Greece,” a statement said, as cited by AFP.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel expects the new government led by Syriza to uphold its commitments to creditors, her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said.

"In our view it’s important for the new government to take action to foster Greece's continued economic recovery…That also means Greece sticking to its previous commitments."

European Parliament President Martin Schulz told German radio that Greece could not expect far-reaching financial concessions from the EU. He also doubted that the country would leave the eurozone.

UK PM David Cameron said he wasn’t optimistic about Greece’s future.

"The Greek election will increase economic uncertainty across Europe. That's why the UK must stick to our plan, delivering security at home," Cameron tweeted.