• Greek polls frontrunner will end austerity measures

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    THE RADICAL Alexis Tsipras, leader of the radical leftist party Syriza, delivers a speech during a congress of the party in Athens, on Sunday. Syriza, tipped to win the January 25 parliamentary election in Greece, is a coalition of leftist groups who oppose austerity and privatization. AFP PHOTO

    THE RADICAL Alexis Tsipras, leader of the radical leftist party Syriza, delivers a speech during a congress of the party in Athens, on Sunday. Syriza, tipped to win the January 25 parliamentary election in Greece, is a coalition of leftist groups who oppose austerity and privatization. AFP PHOTO

    ATHENS: The Greek left-wing leader ahead in polls before upcoming elections said on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) his party’s victory would start “necessary change” in Europe and stressed he would end austerity policies.

    Alexis Tsipras, head of the Syriza party, said in a speech in Athens ahead of January 25 polls that “necessary change in Europe begins here, in Greece.”

    He named Spain, where the leftist Podemos party has led in polls ahead of elections later this year, and Ireland as countries that could follow.

    Tsipras, whose party has led by between three and six points in the polls, said he wants to make Greece a “positive example of progressivism in Europe.”

    “With vigorous negotiations, we guarantee our country’s truly equitable participation in the eurozone,” he said. “We must finish with austerity,” he added.

    Tsipras has previously pledged to reverse reforms imposed by Greece’s international creditors and renegotiate its bailout deal.

    The European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund have overseen two massive international bailouts for Greece after its debt crisis nearly brought down the eurozone.

    EU leaders have urged Greece not to change course and abandon reforms.

    However, Germany’s Der Spiegel news weekly reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel is prepared to let Greece leave the eurozone if the new government jettisons austerity.

    AFP

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