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Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Alexis Tsipras

SYRIZA has been telling Greeks that the European Union is bluffing when it threatens to cut off its aid lifeline unless Athens takes painful reform measures. Party leader Alexis Tsipras's (picture above)pledges to nationalise banks and reverse budget cuts have led markets and international lenders to compare him to Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez.

Opinion polls show that while most oppose the terms of the bailout they still want Greece to stay in the euro, something that Tsipras says he can offer. But this is very questionable given that the EU will stop providing loans if the bailout terms are not met. In addition international lenders have made clear that Athens must meet its reform pledges if it is to receive further loan instalments. It remains to be seen whether the election on the 17 June will produce a conclusive result or whether the country will return to further instability.

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