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Greek Debt Relief Tops the Agenda of New Syriza-Led Government

Sept. 21, 2015 (EIRNS)—With a clear election victory that brought the Syriza-Independent Greeks coalition back into power, the fight over the country’s debt is at the top of the new government’s agenda. "We will continue negotiations in the coming period, with the debt issue being the first and most important battle," a Syriza source told Reuters. "We will ask all political forces to support our efforts."

Eurozone officials told Reuters last week that the creditors are willing to cap Greece’s debt-servicing costs at "only" 15% of GDP annually over the long term! Such an insane figure makes debt service at least 30% of the budget.

While pre-election polls were showing that Syriza was neck and neck with the New Democracy, with 35.47% of the vote, Syriza trounced New Democracy, which received only 28%. The polls showed the Independent Greeks, led by Panos Kammenos, would not receive the 3% needed to enter the Parliament, but they won 3.69%. With Syriza’s 145 seats and Independent Greeks’ 10 seats, the coalition will have a majority of 155 of the 300 seats in Parliament. The voter turnout was 53%, down from 63% in the January elections, and a historic low. Alexis Tsipras was sworn in as Prime Minister on Sept. 21 and his government will be sworn in on Sept. 22.

As for the rest of the vote breakdown, the fascist Golden Dawn came in third with 18 seats; Pasok, in a joint slate with the Democratic Left party has 17 seats; the Communist KKE, 15; To Potami, an artificial party, organized to take votes away from Syriza, received 11 seats, much less than in January; Union of Centrists, a new party, received 9 seats. The Popular Unity party, founded by the breakaway Left Platform faction of Syriza was unable to win the 3% cutoff, and thus will not enter Parliament.

Panagiotis Lafazanis, whose party did not pass the 3% threshold to enter Parliament, said Popular Unity had made a "dignified and beautiful struggle" without the support of the mainstream media. He also referred to the third bail-out agreement as "a memorandum Armageddon" lying ahead for Greeks.

This Armageddon includes about 50 measures and reforms, including pension cuts that will have to be implemented by December as required by the bail-out program Athens signed in July with the "Troika"—European Commission, the IMF, the European Central Bank—and the European Stability Mechanism, which pays out the bail-out. This new "Quartet" is no less deadly for the name change.

There will be a hundred more measures to be implemented in 2016 that the Greek government has committed to. In addition, the new government will have to submit the 2016 budget to Parliament on Oct. 5. Next year’s budget will have to include the new measures and reforms.

Again, Greece’s only hope is cooperation with the BRICS. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Alexis Tsipras on his victory today. According to a Kremlin statement Putin "expressed hope for the continuation of constructive dialogue and active shared work for the future strengthening of mutually beneficial Russian-Greek cooperation."