Putin congratulates Tsipras as Syriza wins again

Greece's former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, also the leader of left-wing Syriza party, greets his supporters after the election results at the party's main electoral center in Athens, Greece, Sept. 20, 2015 [Xinhua]

Greece’s former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, also the leader of left-wing Syriza party, greets his supporters after the election results at the party’s main electoral center in Athens, Greece, Sept. 20, 2015 [Xinhua]

Russian President Vladimir Putin was among the first world leaders to congratulate Alexis Tsipras as his left-wing Syriza party returned to power in Greece.

“In his message of congratulations, the President said he hopes for constructive dialogue and active work together to further strengthen mutually advantageous bilateral cooperation in various areas, including trade and the economy, the energy sector, and humanitarian ties,” said a Kremlin statement on Monday.

Greece’s Syriza party celebrated its second victory in general polls in eight months on Sunday night, and was set to return to office with its right-wing former junior coalition partner, the Independent Greeks (ANEL), promising to “continue the battle for Greek people’s rights in Greece and abroad.”

“I feel vindicated because the Greek people have a clear mandate to carry on fighting inside and outside our country to uphold the pride of our people,” Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras told supporters in Athens following the victory announcement.

Syriza has won about 35.5 per cent of votes against 28.2 per cent for the conservatives of the New Democracy (ND) party led by Evangelos Meimarakis.

China on Monday also congratulated former prime minister Alexis Tsipras’ on his party’s victory.

“China attaches great importance to relations with Greece and is willing to work with its new government to promote exchanges and cooperation, and further the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said at a daily news briefing in Beijing.

Alexis Tsipras, the 41-year old Leftist leader failed to win the absolute majority he was looking for when he quit in late August triggering the snap polls.

The first Left-led government in Greece after World War II had promised to tear up the bailouts and put an outright end to austerity.

After marathon negotiations with Greece’s international creditors, the International Monetary Fund and EU, under the shadow of an imminent default and Grexit, the Syriza-ANEL administration sealed the country’s third tough bailout in five years.

Following a party rift over the new bailout, Tsipras called the new elections asking voters for a second chance to lead the country out of the crisis, pledging to make the utmost effort to soften the effect of the new round of austerity measures.

Meanwhile, earlier this year, Greece announced it is planning a €2bn gas pipeline with Russia.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has also given the go-ahead on joining the pipeline from Russia to Europe via Turkey and Greece.

Russian and Greek Energy Ministers, Alexander Novak and Panagiotis Lafazanis signed a memorandum on construction of the extension of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline in Moscow.

Earlier in June at a Russian economic forum in Saint Petersburg, the Greek Prime Minister criticized the EU for believing that it “was the center of the world”.

“The economic center of the planet has shifted. There are new emerging forces that are playing a more important role geopolitically and economically. International relations are more and more characterized by multi-polarity,” said Tsipras.

“Enhanced cooperation among the BRICS countries is another manifestation of the new world order at the moment,” he added.




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