Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Eurozone Crisis: Greek Left Leader Renounces Bailout Deal

THE GUARDIAN: Frontrunner to form a new government shocks financial markets with remarks over EU and IMF loan agreement

The fate of Greece is, on Tuesday night, in the hands of the leader of a far-left party who launched the quest to form a government by declaring the country could no longer commit itself to the terms of an international loan agreement keeping its economy afloat. After accepting a mandate to create a multi-party administration following inconclusive elections, Alexis Tsipras sent shockwaves through financial markets by announcing the pledges Athens had made to secure rescue funds from the EU and IMF were null and void.

"The popular verdict clearly renders the bailout deal null," said the politician, whose stridently anti-austerity coalition of the radical left, known as Syriza, sprung the surprise of the weekend's poll, coming in second with 16.8% of the vote. "This is an historic moment for the left and the popular movement and a great responsibility for me."

With just three days in which to form a government that could fill the power vacuum that has emerged in Athens, Tsipras said he would begin by approaching other left[-]wing forces in an attempt to "end the agreements of subservience".

The signing of the loan had not been "a salvation but a tragedy", insisted Tsipras, who at 38 is Greece's youngest frontline politician. New Democracy and Pasok, the two parties that signed it – and until Sunday the dominant forces of Greek politics for the past four decades – should, he said, withdraw their support for the accord: "The pro-bailout parties no longer have a majority in parliament to vote in destructive measures for the Greek people. This is a very important victory for our society." » | Helena Smith in Athens | Tuesday, May 08, 2012

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