|A rare fate: Alexis Tsipras and the radical left rises in Greece|
The radical left party Syriza (no its not a Greek play on the name Syria) has won a near landslide victory in the January 25 general elections. Greece is tired both physically and financially. The weekly protests by ordinary Greeks have brought the attention of the global financial crisis in Southern Europe to the attention of Brussels (the political yet shaky capital of Belgium and EU) and Berlin, Germany's powerhouse capital. Ordinary Greeks have been fighting against an under reported and often overlooked humanitarian crisis that has turned many Greeks families, students and workers against the European Union and fear against a Greek exit from the Eurozone, center and right wing parties and government. Some 300,000 Greeks have had their electricity shut off despite attempts to pay their electric bills. To add insult to injury, more families and workers are unable to even be eligible to government medical services and assistance due to various debts. Many people in need of crucial medical surgery and medications are struggling to pay off hospital bills and are unable to afford them. Frustrated students and 50% of unemployed Greek youth and young people have angerily left the country for work and better career opportunities abroad in the EU and further to other parts of the world. In extreme cases, many fed up unemployed workers and farmers, exhausted by the stress and pressures of paying off piling debts, having to sell their homes or livelihoods or feeling hopeless with family problems have committed suicide. Some as an act of protest against an uncaring government and an indifferent financial system. The story is the same in Portugal, Spain and now Italy. No one needs to be reminded of the irony of the former colonial European powers being fiscally crushed looking to their former colonies for financial help and stability. The crisis occurred to each country in the order they rose to world prominence in 15th century. Greece's tragedy reads like a country under sanctions or experiencing structural readjustments. A feeling that Argentina in 2001 and many countries in Africa and Americas know well.
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Syriza has promised to cut half of Greece's deathly debts, do away with the austerity measures, possibly reinstate government workers and rise the pensions for the pensioners who are wrestling with the banks and backlog of the tax system. These are ambitious promises that many voters want to see come to fruition and hope to see real results from Syriza. Syriza and newly elect Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will also have to work with the former ruling parties and the right wing Golden Dawn while reducing the xenophobic attitudes and attacks against migrants that has brought Greece's notorious human rights violations against Asian and African migrants to international attention. Tsipras isn't touching the issue of migrants for now as he adjusts to the PM office and the gigantic tasks at hand. Syriza's victory is the first time that a radical left party has come to power in Europe at a time when the right wing and extreme right organizations, parties and personalities are basking in mainstream popular support. Syriza comes from the socialist and Marxist traditions of the older Greek Communist party KKE who fought against the conservative and right wing coalition parties that ruled the islands going back to the 1950s. KKE and Syriza function separately from one another. Both parties share the similar ideas and do agree on the immediate need to end the suffering and tragedy in Greece brought on by continual austerity measures, a retracting global economy and financial roller coaster ride.