The reaction of the European media on the result of the election in Greece

The reaction of the European media on the result of the election in Greece

Athens, January 26, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

The overwhelming victory of SYRIZA in the greek general election and its impact on the eurozone, the EU, but also Greece itself, monopolises today the interest of the european Press.

With titles such as “The Night of the left triumph” (Die Zeit), “The Greeks voted against the austerity policy” (Berliner Zeitung), “Alexis Tsipras, a challenge for Europe” (Handelsblatt) and “Time for negotiations for SYRIZA” (Libération) the European press greets the victory of SYRIZA in the greek election.

Here are some characteristic comments, starting from Spiegel Online, which is entitled “Alexis Tsipras deserves a chance”, noting that “perhaps yesterday’s elections will go down in history as the beginning of the necessary policy renewal in Greece. Maybe Alexis Tsipras has the courage to clash with Greek shipowners and media tycoons and to collect from them the taxes he needs for his social programs. The reduction of the privileges of this counterproductive elite would be a necessary step, which the two big parties did not do”.

Die Welt comments: “No Fear of SYRIZA” and says: “Necessity may make Alexis Tsipras an unexpected reformer. The charismatic populist should bring the Greeks – many of whom refuse to accept reality – face to face with uncomfortable truths, the most important of which is that Greece is bankrupt and if no alternative funding is found, Tsipras will have to back down and approach the troika”.

“Waiting the U-turn” is the title of Süddeutsche Zeitung, which states: “Whether Alexis Tsipras carry the hopes of voters depends not only on whether he will make a nice U-turn in Berlin and Brussels to ensure the stay of Greece to the euro with new credit lines. For the future of his country it is equally important to dare battle the client state. Only then can there be a new Greece”.

SYRIZA win paves the way for Eurosceptics in Europe?

“The victory of SYRIZA has both a political and a European dimension, commented the Swiss Neue Zürcher Zeitung. It will strengthen both the southern European countries as the parties that are fighting austerity. Alexis Tsipras does not only want to save Greece, but to change the whole continent. He envisions a Europe without budget cuts”.

The Spanish El Pais notes: “The election in Greece comes to show that democratic structures still work in Europe, because they allow the election of unconventional parties. Greece is a member of the European family, even if the new political leadership does not come from the established party camps of conservatives and socialists”.

The French Libération notes that “the EU’s time of settlement, which must include a new debt repayment timetable and a moratorium on the payment of interest. The road to a compromise is narrow. But there is no another possibility. Alexis Tsipras, on who all hopes have been placed (perhaps too many), is aware of this reality.

Finally, Le Figaro commented: “If the election result against the status quo in Greece is enough for France, Germany and other countries to shoulder the burden of repayment of Greek debt, then it opens the door wide to the other Eurosceptics, from Podemos in Spain and Ukip in Britain, to Marine Le Pen in France. Conversely if Greece exits the eurozone and the EU, we will have to accept it. In any case we can draw valuable conclusions from the experiment (of the president of SYRIZA Alexis Tsipras). For Europe it makes more sense to follow the experiment to the end, instead of trying to ‘neutralise’ the country with an inconsistent special treatment”.