Grexit Unlikely but Leftist Party to Press for New Debt Terms after Taking Office (1/27)

spellmanBy James D. Spellman, Strategic Communications LLC

An astounding victory by the populist, leftist Syriza (συριζα) party Sunday, larger than polls had been predicting, calls into question the ability of Brussels, the International Monetary Fund, and the European Central Bank to continue demanding "austerity" programs aimed at reducing onerous government debt believed to be constraining Eurozone growth.

Winning 149 seats in Parliament, two short of a ruling majority, Syriza formed a coalition with a small, right-wing party, the Independent Greeks (Anel), which also opposes austerity, the media reported. The new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, said the "mandate" calls on him to negotiate "a new viable solution… for Greece and Europe" with Greece's European partners. The IMF and the European Commission have lent Greece €240 billion euros ($270 billion) since 2010 after Athens committed to reforms. Repayments are due as early as March.