Greece’s radical left-wing Syriza party took control following a historical election on Sunday, which sparked negotiations about the future of Greece as a member of the European Union, amid the new prime minister’s demands for a debt write-down.
According to The Guardian, for the first time since the “euro crisis” began in Greece in October 2009, Greek voters have “roundly rejected the savage spending cuts and tax rises imposed by Europe,” which reduced the country to poverty.
During his victory speech, Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the Syriza party, described the win as hope having made history in Greece.
“The sovereign Greek people today have given a clear, strong, indisputable mandate, ” Tsipras said. “Greece is leaving behind the destructive austerity, fear and authoritarianism. It is leaving behind five years of humiliation and pain.”
The New York Times reported that “eurzone finance ministers” met in Brussels on Monday to “begin negotiations with the Greek government on the terms of financial support,” with the warning that the “talks would be arduous.”
According to Bloomberg, while the finance ministers from the 19 nations in the area “signaled their willingness to do a deal with Tsipras,” they would only agree to one if the new Greek prime minister “drops his demand for a debt write-down.”
BBC News reported that there was a lot of concern in the financial market, due to the fact that on Monday, the euro “briefly touched an 11-year low against the dollar, before recovering to trade almost 0.7% higher against the US currency.”
During a news conference on Sunday, former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who led the conservative New Democracy party, acknowledged that the Greek people have spoken.
“My conscience is clear. I received a country which was almost destroyed and I was asked to hold a hot potato and I did that,” Samaras said. “We managed to take the country out of deficit, out of recession.”
The Guardian reported that the new party in power is seeking to “redraw the political map of Europe,” by forming a coalition “united only by their desire to defy the European financial establishment and shrug off the constraints of austerity.”
BBC News noted that although the Syriza party wants to renegotiate Greece’s €240bn, or $270bn bailout by international lenders, EU leaders “have warned the new Greek government that it must live up to its commitments to the creditors.”