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Thousands celebrate leftwing Syriza victory in general election

Sunday, January 25, 2015 - 01:48

Thousands of supporters of Greece's leftwing Syriza party celebrate in the streets of Athens as the party leader Alexis Tsipras claims victory over austerity. Pavithra George reports

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Thousands in Athens celebrated the victory of Greece's left-wing and anti-austerity Syriza party in a snap election. It's leader Alexis Tsipras comes to power on a promise to renegotiate the country's huge debt - that resonated with voters weary of budget cuts, tax hikes and high unemployment. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) SYRIZA PARTY LEADER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, SAYING: "Our victory is also a victory for all the people of Europe who are fighting against austerity that is destroying our common European future." With more than 60 percent of votes counted, Syriza was set to win 149 seats in the 300-seat parliament -a victory that could put the country at odds with the European Union and the IMF over austerity policies imposed on Greece as a condition of its bailout. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) SYRIZA PARTY LEADER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, SAYING: "Greece is turning a page, Greece is leaving behind catastrophic austerity, it is leaving behind the fear and the autocracy, it is leaving behind five years of humiliation and pain." Outgoing Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras conceded defeat but not without a warning ----telling Syriza to not jeopardize the country's fragile recovery as it finally emerged last year from recession for the first time in six years. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) OUTGOING GREEK PRIME MINISTER, ANTONIS SAMARAS, SAYING: "I hand over a country that is a member of the European Union and the euro. For the good of the country, I hope the next government will continue to maintain what we have achieved." With Greece's economy unlikely to recover for years, Alexis Tsipras will have a tough road ahead - but for now he's savoring a win ---one that could redefine Greece's relationship with Europe

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Thousands celebrate leftwing Syriza victory in general election

Sunday, January 25, 2015 - 01:48