Thursday, 22 January 2015

Greek Election: Rena Dourou of Syriza Poised to Sweep Away Austerity

Newly[-]elected governor of the wider Athens region
Rena Dourou, who was backed by leftist Syriza party,
waves to supporters in front of the University of Athens
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: “Is it really right for thousands of people to commit suicide because of austerity policies?" asks Syriza's most senior politician ahead of Sunday's general election

After her mother’s pension was cut over 30 times, Rena Dourou knew that Greece could no longer cope with austerity.

Now, as Syriza, her political party, leads the polls ahead of the country’s general election on Sunday, she stands ready to reverse the five years of pain imposed by the European Union.

“Since the beginning of the implementation of the austerity policies, many people have had the experience of becoming second-class citizens, with no access to health care or education,” she said.

“We want to create a shield of protection for the most vulnerable.”

Ms Dourou, 40, is the only member of Syriza, a radical left-wing coalition, to hold high office. Since she was elected as governor of Attica, the vital region that surrounds Athens, last May she has increased the state’s budget for social welfare more than six-fold, from a mere Eu1.9 million (£1.46 million) to Eu13 million. It is a premonition of the huge spending splurge that Syriza has promised if it is elected nationally. » | Nick Squires, and Menelaos Tzafalias in Athens | Thursday, January 22, 2015