SYRIZA Party Wins Big in Greece

Jan. 30, 2015, 5:24 p.m.

Greece’s SYRIZA party won an unprecedented victory in elections held on Sunday 25th January. Early legislative elections were held for 300 seats of the Hellenic Parliament, due to the body’s failure to elect a new president on 29 December 2014. The left-wing anti-bailout SYRIZA party, led by Alexis TSIPRAS won 149 of 300 seats and 36.3 percent of the vote, and two seats short of a supermajority. The conservative New Democracy (ND) party led by Prime Minister Antonis SAMARAS lost 53 seats, and its coalition partner PASOK went from 33 to 13 seats. Alexis TSIPRAS was sworn into office on January 26th, becoming the youngest Prime Minister in 150 years.

The rise of SYRIZA leaves many with hopes of a reversal of Greece’s crippling austerity measures, and a renegotiation of the € 240 billion bailout package with the Troika --  the EU, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Greece spiraled into debt in 2009, leading the Eurozone countries, the ECB and the IMF to launch two rounds of bailouts between 2010 and 2012.  

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