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European left-wing leaders enthusiastic about Greece snap elections

European left-wing leaders enthusiastic about Greece snap elections
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By Thomas Seymat
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The news of the snap elections announced today after the third failure of Greek MPs to elect a president continues to ripple across the political and economic spheres with dire consequences on the Greek stock market.

However, some are looking forward for the coming polls, planned for January 25, 2015. Among them are Pablo Iglesias, an MEP and Secretary-General of Spain’s Podemos party, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a French MEP and former leader of the Left Party.

The Spanish MEP tweeted right after the failure of the presidential vote:

2015 será el año del cambio en España y en Europa. Empezaremos en Grecia. Vamos Alexis!! Vamos @syriza_gr !!

— Pablo Iglesias (@Pablo_Iglesias_) 29 Décembre 2014

The message means: “2015 will be the year of change in Spain and Europe. We start with Greece. Come on Alexis!! Come on @Syriza_gr!!”

In Europe, Syriza, a coalition of smaller left-wing party led by Alexis Tsipas, is a close ally of Podemos.

They are both members of the GUE-NGL group in the European Parliament and share key political ideas, especially on the economic crisis and the debts their respective countries are into.

Tsipras, the former EU Commission presidential candidate for the European Left, appears to be an inspiration for Iglesias. After the European elections the Podemos leader tweeted a picture of them shaking hands in Brussels.

Un placer reunirme por primera vez junto con el resto de la delegación de Podemos con Alexis Tsipras y Syriza pic.twitter.com/n5woS1Y2oK

— Pablo Iglesias (@Pablo_Iglesias_) 3 Juin 2014

In France, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a firebrand MEP and former leader of the Left Party, also hails the coming snap elections. His official Twitter account, run by his PR team, tweeted: “At last the chain will break. Greece will free itself. Quick, our turn. Freedom for Greece.”

Enfin la chaîne va craquer. La Grèce va se libérer. Vite, à notre tour. #liberté en #Grèce

— Jean-Luc Mélenchon (@JLMelenchon) 29 Décembre 2014

Mélenchon also admires Tsipras, whom he called “an example”, a “friend and comrade” and invited him to Paris prior to the European elections. Like Iglesias, Mélenchon favours anti-austerity policies and anti-liberal measures.

Syriza not yet in power

Tsipras’ party wants to renegotiate the conditions of the bailout and roll back unpopular austerity measures imposed by international creditors. And opinion polls show current Greek conservative Prime Minister Samaras’ ruling coalition trailing Syriza, according to AFP.

Greece: Seats prognosis for upcoming parliamentary election (source: Palmos Analysis). SYRIZA lead. pic.twitter.com/nOZ2Klhzc7

— twittprognosis/eu (@twittprognosis) 29 Décembre 2014

But Syriza’s lead has narrowed to 3.3 percent from 3.6 percent in early December, according to a survey by the Alco polling institute for Proto Thema newspaper, indicating the party would not have a clear majority to form a government on its own if polls were held now.

Other polling data confirm this fact and project Syriza will have 144 seats, 7 short of the absolute majority in the Vouli, meaning it is likely the party will need partners or allies to form a government.

Greece Seat Prognosis Parliament Election Palmos Analysis majority: 151 SYRIZA: 144 ND: 78 To Potami: 25 XA: 19 KKE: 13 PASOK: 12 DIMAR: 9

— twittprognosis/eu (@twittprognosis) 29 Décembre 2014

Syriza’s leader Alexis Tsipras vowed to end austerity after Monday’s vote. “With the will of our people, in a few days the bailout agreements of austerity will be history,” Tsipras told reporters. European left-wing parties in Europe can keep smiling.

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