New Greek Prime Minister forges odd alliance

January 27, 2015 10:43 pm

Alexis Tsipras was sworn in as the new Prime Minister of ,
after his radical left-wing movement forged an unwieldy alliance with a
far-right party.
In a low-key ceremony lasting barely 10 minutes,
Tsipras promised to protect “the interests of the Greek people” as he
signed an official mandate with a Mont Blanc fountain pen.
Well known for his disdain of ties, he arrived in an open-necked shirt.
then went on to the National Resistance Memorial at Kaisariani and laid
a wreath to 200 Greek war dead as his first official act.

In a
further break with convention, Tsipras, an atheist, chose not to receive
a blessing from the Greek Orthodox Church, becoming the first Prime
Minister in the modern Greek state to reject the religious gesture.
party, Syriza, scored a historic victory in Greece’s election but fell
short of an outright majority in the 300-seat Parliament, gaining 149
seats. While he moved quickly to arrange an awkward coalition with the
Independent Greeks party, who won 13 seats, it immediately raised doubts
over the longevity of the new Government.

The only common ground between the two parties is their
resentment of the austerity policies foisted on Greece for the past five
years by the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and their
determination to renegotiate the country’s 240 billion ($363 billion)
The parties admitted that they had profound differences.
“Let us not beat about the bush, we are chalk and cheese,” said Yanis
Varoufakis, an economist from Syriza who is tipped to be the new Finance
Minister. “It is a very strange alliance,” said Vassilis Kostoulas,
economics editor of Naftemporiki, a business newspaper.
“The only common characteristic between them is their opposition to the bailout. The rest, it will be chaos.”
struck the deal with Panos Kammenos, the head of the Independent
Greeks, on his way to the presidential palace in Athens to be sworn in.
“We have an uphill road ahead,” he said to Karolos Papoulias, the Greek

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