Alexis Tsipras, sworn into office as Greece’s new prime minister a day after his radical leftist Syriza party won a resounding election victory, swiftly forged a coalition government with the aim of shedding European-imposed austerity policies. Syriza has little in common with its coalition partner—the small, right-wing Independent Greeks party—other than a fierce opposition to the austerity measures Greece embarked on in exchange for bailouts from its eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund. Still, the common bond on that front signals tough negotiations with Greece’s creditors over its debt repayments in the months ahead. Together, Syriza and Independent Greeks will jointly control 162 seats in Greece’s 300-seat legislature. The Independent Greeks are also expected to hold at least one cabinet position in the new government, the details of which are likely to be unveiled on Tuesday.
Mr. Tsipras, who was sworn in as Greece’s new prime minister in the afternoon, promised that he would give his all “to protect the interests of the Greek people.”
Syriza staked its election campaign on repudiating the steep budget cuts and tax increases that Greece agreed to in exchange for a financial rescue. It has promised, first, to deliver a spending package aimed at Greece’s struggling poor, and then to use money now earmarked for debt payments on social programs in Greece.
But the new government faces a race against the clock: In July and August Greece must repay some €7 billion ($7.9 billion) in bonds held by the European Central Bank. Without fresh aid from its creditors, Greece doesn’t have the cash to pay off those bonds.
Full Article: Syriza Forges Coalition With Right-Wing Party