Leftist Syriza becomes a force to be reckoned with | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 19.06.2012
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Leftist Syriza becomes a force to be reckoned with

With about 27 percent, the leftist alliance Syriza has become Greece's second strongest political force. Leader Alexis Tsipras has said he is preparing the party to play a strong role in the opposition.

Tsipras said he had mixed feelings after the election: After all, his party had almost made it to the well, but still didn't get any water. This poetic take on the outcome of the vote is part of his appeal. With his powerfull rhetoric and a dynamic image he has managed to convince many voters to cast their ballot for him. He also managed to portray himself as not corrupt like the old political elite of New Democracy and Pasok.

At the heart of the Syriza election campaign was the promise to renegotiate the austerity package imposed by the EU and, at the same time, stay in the eurozone. Syriza also announced it would halt paying back debts, lower taxes and raise social spending to help get the country's economy back on its feet.

Tsipras dismissed warnings that Greece might be forced to leave the eurozone. "Greece leaving the eurozone will legally, politically and economically dissolve the eurozone," he said. Tsipras also promised that on June 17, the austerity package will be history." At the same time, the charismatic party leader insisted his party was not just telling fairy tales to the voters.

Yet that is exactly what his political opponents accuse Tsipras of: that he doesn't have any solutions for the country's economic and political problems. Critics accuse him of luring voters in the same manner as the old established parties which are responsible for the crisis with promises that there is, and will be, enough money to go around.

Author: Daphne Grathwohl / ai
Editor: Gregg Benzow

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