Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko Churchill | January 26, 2015

Greece has a New Prime Minister and a new Anti-Austerity economic policy

Alexis Tsipras leader of Syriza, was smiling broadly in front of scores of photographers from the global media as President Karolos Papoulias arrived to swear him in a few minutes ago.

The two men stood either side of a table. Tsipras pronounced that he will give his all “to protect the interests of the Greek people.”

Tsipras to President Papoulias: Mr President, after yesterday elections, I met with Mr Kammenos and he agreed to give us the cooperation of his party, and his confidence vote. I want to hope and believe that the absolute majority we have secured of 162 seats will increase during the confidence vote … we have to expedite procedures because an uphill struggle awaits us.”

President Papoulias then gave the leftist leader a mandate to form a government. He then signed the book – as tradition dictates newly sworn in prime ministers.

There was much clapping as Alex Tsipras emerged from the Greek Presidential palace.

That’s it.

That’s how Democracy works.

Fast and effective.

Alexis Tsipras, the 40-year old progressive left Syriza party leader, has been sworn in as Greece’s next Prime Minister by Greece’s President Papoulias.

And very quickly, the ceremony over — Tsipras has headed back out of the presidential palace.

There is scattered applause as he heads to Maximos Mansion, the official prime ministerial residence where he will start preparing for his vote of confidence.

This was the fastest and perhaps the most low-key swearing in ceremony of a Greek prime minister in modern times…

After express elections, and express negotiations to form a government, Greece now has an express prime minister.

About time…

Greece is getting a new anti-austerity coalition government, just hours after the leftwing Syriza party won a sensational victory in Sunday’s general election.

Syriza will form an alliance with the rightwing populist group Independent Greeks, giving it a majority in parliament (with 162 of the 300 seats).

Greece is headed into a new era of anti-austerity as the leftist Syriza successfully formed a government with the Independent Greeks party, after falling agonisingly short of an outright majority in Sunday’s landmark elections.

As his first act of office the new Greek Prime Minister honoured the Greeks that have been killed by the Germans during the German occupation of Greece. Tsipras honours Greek war dead today and the country rejoices.

Alexis Tsipras’s first act as Greece’s new prime minister has been to lay flowers at the National Resistance Memorial at Kaisariani.

That memorial commemorates two hundred Greeks who were killed there in the second world war.
In a highly symbolic act, he laid a wreath at the memorial in Kaisariani, a suburb in Athens where hundreds of communist national resistance fighters were executed by the Nazis on May 1 1944.

Hundreds of well-wishes, many in tears, were there watching as he approached the site. Greek TV commentators couldn’t help themselves. “It is another up yours to the Germans,” they said.
As the clock ticks the new Prime Minister has an all night race to head off threats to Democracy and the Republic.

But it is a Good Day all around.

Here is reaction to the Greek election from Ireland, with Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams welcoming the Syriza victory but others warning that the Irish government would be worried by the outcome. Henry McDonald in Dublin writes:

Gerry Adams had spoken to the Alexis Tsipras on the phone on Friday to wish him luck ahead of the Greek poll. Following the result Adams said Syriza’s victory “opens up the real prospect of democratic change not just for the people of Greece, but for the citizens right across the EU”.

Veteran anti poverty campaigner in the Irish Republic Father Sean Healy described the result as “the politics of hope” and that the austerity politics of “business as usual is not an option”.

Prior to the Greek vote, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny had warned that “a drift towards populism” could damage Ireland and Europe’s economic recovery.

One commentator in the Irish Independent newspaper said that “few politicians have more to fear from yesterday’s Greek elections than Enda Kenny.” Coming from a newspaper that has by and large backed cost cutting austerity measures in the Republic, it is an apposite warning to Kenny and his Fine Gael-Labour coalition [ahead of the 2016 election.]

Yours,
Pano

PS:

In a sign of Goodwill and Progresive Politics, the US President and the White House says America is looking forward to working closely with the new Greek government.

And that’s how it’s done…

In other and completely unrelated news … European Union leader, and perennial German puppet, Mr Claude Juncker sent a letter to the new Greek Prime Minister, saying: “I look forward to working with you for the benefit of the citizens of Greece and the European Union”


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