Athens October 8, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
155 lawmakers gave support to the SYRIZA government so that Greece can get to work and implement the harshest austerity measures to date
Greece’s Parliament provided a widely expected vote of confidence to the leftist-dominated SYRIZA coalition government shortly before 2 a.m. on Thursday morning. Of the 299 MPs in Greece’s Parliament, 155 voted in favor, 144 against and 1 abstained. The abstention was that of conservative deputy Nikos Dendias, who sent a letter concerning his opinions which did not count towards the voting.
Leftist SYRIZA easily won the general election on January 25 with just over 36% of the general vote, turning Alexis Tsipras into the youngest Greek prime minister in recent memory. Unfortunately, after seven months of wrangling and tough negotiations and a referendum in July where millions massively rejected austerity for Greece, Tsipras failed to keep his election pledges and saw his party split into a newly created Popular Unity Party.
Tough reforms were voted on with the support of opposition parties before Tsipras declared early elections on September 20. Voters opted to give a second chance to SYRIZA despite the imposition of capital controls and social devastation. This time it was not a vote for hope but a vote for the lesser evil.
Following the vote of confidence, Greece will now need to implement the third memorandum (bailout) and even more aggressive austerity – the toughest yet!