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Fractious Greek coalition may last a year

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Significance

The Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) won the early general election on January 25 and formed a coalition government with a nationalist right-wing party, Independent Greeks (ANEL). The coalition will have the support of 162 members in the 300-seat parliament. The principal policies shared by the parties are to roll back the country's massive debt, which is equivalent to 175% of GDP, and to escape the foreign tutelage implied by the two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with Greece's creditors, which stipulate rigorous fiscal and structural reforms in exchange for 240 billion euros (272 billion dollars) in soft bailout loans.

Impacts

  • In the public sector, leftist supporters will clamour for jobs in the face of a Syriza platform commitment to introduce hirings on merit.
  • Syriza says it will welcome foreign investment to help restore growth so that Greece can pay its own way and not have to borrow in future.
  • If the takeover of office goes smoothly, Syriza's victory could boost left-of-centre parties in the forthcoming UK and Spanish elections.
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