The rise of Alexis Tsipras to political prominence was swift but in Sunday’s election the leader of the Syriza party failed to win a clear mandate from voters.
He phoned his rival Antonis Samaras to admit defeat and then told his supporters the fight would continue in opposition.
“We assume our responsibilities in the role of the opposition. But in these two elections, the people have rejected the austerity politics linked to the implementation of the rescue plan. This forces all political parties to recognise that these economic policies are not viable. The new government led by New Democracy as the most important party in any case concerning the big questions of the country cannot govern like before,” he declared.
There had been talk as the election unfolded of the Syriza party playing a role in a new government but for now the enigmatic leader will continue his career in opposition, refusing any role in a ruling coalition.
It’s back to business as usual for Greece as one commentator put it.