Thursday, June 14, 2012

Greek Leftist Declares 'Yes to the Euro'

Wall Street Journal
June 14, 2012

With days to go before Greece's Sunday elections, radical leftist leader Alexis Tsipras emphasized that he wants to keep the country in the euro in an apparent effort to woo centrist voters.

In his final campaign rally here ahead of the vote, Mr. Tsipras repeatedly stressed his party's commitment to the common currency. While insisting on renegotiating the country's bailout, he eschewed any reference to radical positions the party holds on repudiating the national debt or nationalizing the banks, which risk alienating some voters.

"From the beginning we have said: 'No to the [loan] memorandum, yes to the euro.' We never identified the memorandum with the euro," Mr. Tsipras said to a chanting, flag-waving crowd of thousands of supporters in one of the main squares of the Greek capital.

This weekend's elections are shaping up to be a de facto referendum on Greece's future with the euro, pitting Mr. Tsipras's Syriza party—which opposes the terms of the country's latest bailout—and their conservative rival, New Democracy, which largely supports the bailout program.

Recent public-opinion polls show Syriza neck-and-neck with New Democracy as the two battle for seats in Greece's 300-member Parliament.


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