Cameron warning after Syriza win


Published: Monday 26th January 2015 by The News Editor

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The victory of anti-austerity party Syriza in Greece’s election will “increase economic uncertainty across Europe”, David Cameron has warned.

The Prime Minister’s intervention came amid fears the victory for Alexis Tsipras’s party will trigger a fresh crisis in the eurozone.

Mr Tsipras has pledged to renegotiate Greece’s 240 billion-euro (£179 billion) international bailout deal.

He has pledged to reverse many of the reforms that creditors demanded in exchange for keeping Greece financially afloat since 2010, potentially placing the country on collision course with Angela Merkel’s Germany, Europe’s largest economy.

In a message on Twitter Mr Cameron said: “The Greek election will increase economic uncertainty across Europe. That’s why the UK must stick to our plan, delivering security at home.”

The result means there will be watchful eyes on the currency when markets in Europe open later today.

A triumphant Mr Tsipras told Greeks that his radical left party’s win meant an end to “austerity and destruction”.

“The Greek people have made history. Hope has made history,” Mr Tsipras said in his victory speech at a conference hall in central Athens.

Official results with 60% of polling stations counted showed Syriza with 36%, far ahead of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ conservatives, who had 28%.

It was still unclear whether Syriza would secure the 151 seats needed for an outright majority in parliament but Mr Tsipras said his party’s victory had made the “troika a thing of the past”, referring to the three international institutions – the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank- that have carried out inspections to monitor Greece’s progress before approving each instalment of bailout funds.

“The verdict of the Greek people ends, beyond any doubt, the vicious circle of austerity in our country,” Mr Tsipras said. “The verdict of the Greek people, your verdict, annuls today in an indisputable fashion the bailout agreements of austerity and disaster.

“The verdict of the Greek people renders the troika a thing of the past for our common European framework.”

Ukip leader Nigel Farage said: “This is a desperate cry for help from the Greek people, millions of whom have been impoverished by the Euro experiment.

“An extraordinary game of poker will now begin with Chancellor Merkel, with the European Central Bank powerless to do much than be an observer.”

Labour’s former Europe minister Peter Hain compared the measures imposed on the Greeks to the restrictions placed upon Germany after the First World War.

On Twitter he said: “Fantastic Syriza win: austerity does not work for Greece, for Tory/Lib Dem UK, nor for EU; we all need investment in growth not savage cuts.”

Earlier, on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show, he said: “I think this will be a big kick to the orthodoxy, the austerity gripping the European Union and, indeed, most of the world including Britain.”

In a reference to the punitive measures imposed on Berlin in 1918, he added: “What’s being done to Greece at the moment is like what was done to the Germans in the Treaty of Versailles and look where that led, it doesn’t work.”

Published: Monday 26th January 2015 by The News Editor

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