Conservative party wins majority in Greece, but leftist leader Tsipras sees huge gains for his party and battles ahead
Alexis Tsipras, leftist leader of the anti-austerity Syriza party in Greece, conceded electoral defeat on Sunday, after the conservative pro-bailout New Democracy party won a majority of seats in parliamentary elections. With nearly 100 percent of ballots counted, New Democracy had won 29.7 percent of the vote, ahead of SYRIZA’s 27 percent, and the once dominant Socialist PASOK party came in third with 12.3 percent.
Antonis Samaras is cheered after New Democracy won the largest share of the votes. (Photograph: John Kolesidis/Reuters)But, said Tsipras before throngs of his supporters, Syriza’s fight against punishing austerity measures was a “great accomplishment” and, despite the loss, they would continue to fight against economic demands by Europe that they have argued are punishing the Greek people.
“Some believe that they won the elections,” Tsipras told cheering Syriza supporters in Athens. “But, the people have won the elections,” he said, “because now they can not proceed with bailout agreements and they recognize this, both in Greece and in Brussels. They know this very well and they owe it to us. Because of your fight, this is a great accomplishment that we share with all the people of Europe.”