Only hours after anti-bailout leftist party Syriza won the elections in Greece on Sunday, EU Commissioner for Economic Affairs Pierre Moscovici said that while the European Commission hopes to have a ‘constructive dialogue’ with the new Greek government, it also wants a ‘Greece that can repay its debts.’
Also speaking after EU finance ministers met in Brussels on Monday, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem warned Athens that all eurozone member states must ‘abide by the rules and the commitments’ agreed.
“I have strongly belief in working with the countries of the Eurogroup which are 19, and not letting go any of them. And making sure that all of us abide by the rules and the commitments that we have given of to each other. That is my ambition. I do not like to speculate otherwise. Same would go for Greece. I have taken note that all the leading politicians have expressed their ambition that Greece’s future is inside the Eurozone. And that I think is a very good basis to start our talks on,” said Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
The anti-austerity Syriza party marked a stunning victory in a Greek snap election held on 25 January, but did not ensure an absolute majority. Its leader, Alexis Tsipras, said the “vicious cycle of austerity” was over, triggering mixed reactions in the EU. Tsipras stated that the Greek public debt is not viable, and asked for its restructuring, which amounts to 177% of GDP.