On the 25th January there was an election for a new Prime Minister in Greece and Alexis Tsipras, who is leader of the Syriza party, won 36% of the vote taking 149 out of 300 seats in parliament.
Tsipras is a former communist and his party is the left wing party in Greece. He plans to raise the minimum wage as well as creating 300,000 new jobs. When he was made leader of the Syriza party in 2009, Tsipras was the second youngest political party leader ever in Greece. Around a quarter of Greece’s population are unemployed and prostitution has risen by 150%.
Alexis Tsipras has decided not to pay their debt back to places like the UK and Germany. Greece owes around £321.7 billion to many of the countries in the EU.
Compared to other countries who have had an economic downturn Greece (against Portugal, Iceland, Ireland and Latvia) is by far the slowest in repairing its economy.
In Greece the loans from the EU are substantially higher than the deposits they have made with a deficit of around 50 million Euro.
Spyros Vlassopoulos, who lives in Athens, told us: “an option in their negotiations was maybe to stand strong against the lenders and face the possibility of a default that would trigger the exit from the Euro zone and perhaps the EU all together. The impact of this would be catastrophic in the short term. A lot of goods would be too expensive to buy due to the new fading currency. In the long term the exit could liven local production and increase competitiveness in the international markets.”