Syriza Shockwaves: Greek Leftists Challenge Austerity—and Status Quo

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras poses for the photographers after taking a secular oath at the Presidential Palace in Athens, Jan. 26, 2015 (AP photo by Thanassis Stavrakis).
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras poses for the photographers after taking a secular oath at the Presidential Palace in Athens, Jan. 26, 2015 (AP photo by Thanassis Stavrakis).
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Just over a week ago, Greece elected an anti-austerity party, Syriza, the first in Europe to take office since the European debt crisis began in 2010. Syriza’s victory sent shockwaves across Europe, despite the fact that it was widely predicted ahead of the Jan. 25 election. Led by Alexis Tsipras, Syriza won 36 percent of the vote, 8 percent more than the ruling center-right New Democracy party, and 149 seats in parliament, just two seats shy of a majority. The biggest element of Syriza’s campaign platform was the promise to renegotiate the terms of Greece’s $268 billion bailout from the […]

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