Tsipras commits new Greek government to debt reduction

(AGI) Athens, Sept 21 - The day after Alexis Tsipras won inGreece for the second time in less than nine months, the primeminister has already indicated his new government's twopriorities: reducing the debt with international creditors andeconomic stability. The leader of the leftist Syriza party,which on Sunday gained 35.47 percent of the vote and 145 seats,was sworn in as prime minister at 7 p.m. on Monday. In themeantime, he has been working diligently to choose hisministers and programme. He aims to present his new team byWednesday along with a list of

(AGI) Athens, Sept 21 - The day after Alexis Tsipras won inGreece for the second time in less than nine months, the primeminister has already indicated his new government's twopriorities: reducing the debt with international creditors andeconomic stability. The leader of the leftist Syriza party,which on Sunday gained 35.47 percent of the vote and 145 seats,was sworn in as prime minister at 7 p.m. on Monday. In themeantime, he has been working diligently to choose hisministers and programme. He aims to present his new team byWednesday along with a list of priorities in black and white.This hurry is also in response to EU urging: "We have much workto do and there is no time to lose," said European CommissionPresident, Jean-Claude Juncker, in his message ofcongratulations. "The immediate goal is the full restoration ofstability in the economy and in banking," Mr Tsipras told hiscolleagues, according to reports from party members. But the"first crucial battle" would be to secure debt relief from theformer troika. This was more concrete than the enthusiasm ofSunday night when, safely re-elected, he had hailed the"victory of the people", noting that Syriza was "hard to kill".There are few new developments at the moment. It is clear thatthe alliance with the right-wing conservative IndependentGreeks, who won 3.69 percent, will continue, as in the firstterm. It will give the prime minister the extra 10 seats neededfor an absolute majority in the 300 member parliament. Thisdecision has already caused some grumbling in the EU with thePresident of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, openlycriticising it. "It's politically and strategically somethingthat you have to admire," he said. "But after ... this renewedmandate with this far-right, populist party, that I don'tunderstand," he continued. The choice of the key figure - thefinance minister - would also seem to signal continuity if, asreported by Syriza sources, Mr Tsipras is about to reappointEuclid Tsakalotos, called in to replace the controversial YanisVaroufakis, and who is more pragmatic and acceptable to his EUcolleagues. Meanwhile, the European Union is keen to remindGreece that there is no time to waste. "The commissioncongratulates Alexis Tsipras for his victory," and isencouraged by the strongly pro-EU majority in parliament,European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas toldreporters. In addition to the victory of Syriza, which lostjust four seats, the conservative New Democracy came in secondwith 28.09 percent and 75 seats. The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn sawits support rise slightly to 6.99 percent and 18 seats, onemore than in January. (AGI). .