Greece: End of austerity?

The prospect of victory for Greece’s far-Left opposition in January snap elections is threatening a new crisis for the Eurozone.

Parliamentary polls were announced after Greek MPs failed to choose a new president. According to the constitution, the vote’s failure means parliament has to be dissolved.

Uncertainty over the outcome of the January 25 parliamentary election is raising concerns that Greece’s long simmering debt crisis could be re-ignited.

Greece is showing signs of recovery after six years of recession, thanks to multi-billion dollar bailouts from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Resentment remains though, over stringent austerity measures imposed as part of that rescue package.

Germany’s finance minister is warning that Greece has ‘no alternative’ to hard reforms.

But the leader of the opposition Syriza party is already announcing “austerity will be history” if his left wing party triumphs at the ballot box.

Alexis Tsipras told supporters in Athens: “Let it be clear to everyone both inside and outside the country: only the Greek people can decide, and only them. Greeks hold the key to the country.

“Today my friends is the beginning of the end of the regime that sunk the country into poverty, unemployment, grief and desperation. The beginning of the end of those who were shamelessly servants of catastrophic policies.”

So could Greece go back on its multi-billion dollar bailouts? And what are the implications for the Eurozone? (Al Jazeera)

Presenter: Sami Zeidan


George Kratsas – a corporate lawyer and specialist in EU law and financial regulation.

Andrew Hilton – director of the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation.

Anastasia Giamali – a journalist for the Dawn Newspaper that is politically associated with the Syriza party.