EP leaders react to Syriza victory
Updated: 2015-01-27 11:30
European Parliament President Martin Schulz gestures during the Escaping From Poverty event in the Swiss mountain resort of Davos January 22, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
STRASBOURG -- European Parliament (EP) leaders on Monday responded to the victory of the radical left Syriza party in Greek parliamentary elections held on Sunday.
EP President Martin Schulz gave a guarded welcome to the swearing in of Alexis Tsipras as Greek new prime minister, calling it an "historic victory for his party."
"This is a major change for Greece and has an impact on Europe, " he said.
Referring to Tsipras'campaign commitment to renegotiate Greece's debt with the 'Troika'of the European Commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund, Schulz said the EP was open to discussion.
"Negotiations must be based on mutual respect and trust. It will also be important to stick to agreements made to stabilize the country and the European Union (EU)," he said.
Manfred Weber, chairman of the center-right EPP, the largest group in the EP, said it was disappointing to see that "the right and honest path" chosen by former prime minister Antonis Samaras was not acknowledged.
"The reform path is bearing fruit and needs to be continued," he stated.
"Europe stands ready to show solidarity with Greece if the commitments agreed upon (regarding the bailout) are fully respected. All commitments must be fulfilled," he said.
Gianni Pittella, president of the Socialists and Democrats group in the EP, said Greece had sent a clear message to the EU to end austerity and the "Troika's diktats."