Triumphant after a historic election victory, Alexis Tsipras is set to become the new Greek prime minister.
His anti-austerity Syriza party
swept to power in an overwhelming election win.
He is meeting the leaders of other parties on Monday seeking support for his commitment to renegotiate the country’s huge debts and the terms of its international bailout.
“Greece has turned a new page, Greece leaves behind the austerity of destruction, fear and authoritarianism, leaves behind five years of humiliation and suffering – proceeds with optimism, hope and dignity and steady steps in a changing Europe,” said Tsipras to thunderous applause from his thousands of supporters gathered in Propylaea Square.
“The mandate of the Greek people, your mandate, today cancels in an undisputed manner the memorandums of austerity and destruction. The mandate of the Greek people makes the troika a thing of past in our common European framework.”
Tsipras’ message appears to have chimed with a public fed up with five years of spending cuts and recession.
“These were the most crucial elections in the history of modern Greece,” said one young woman. “As young people we opened up the road. Greece will change, Europe will change. A prosperous future starts tomorrow for Greece and us.”
“Everything will change,” said another optimist. “Austerity will end, we’ll stop seeing homeless people in the streets… banks will stop take possession of our homes.”
Euronews correspondent Nikoletta Kritikou summed up the mood of many in central Athens:
“Thousands of people gathered at Propylaea to listen to the first speech given by Alexis Tsipras, after the results were announced. All of them hope that soon Greece will “turn a page” and finally leave the troika and austerity behind,” she said.