Bloomberg News

Syriza Election Win Wouldn’t Mean Greek Euro Exit, Leader Says

May 20, 2012

Syriza’s opposition to the terms of Greece’s financial-aid program doesn’t mean the country would have to abandon the euro if the party forms a government after June 17 elections, party leader Alexis Tsipras said.

Presenting the elections as a choice between Greece’s memorandum with international lenders to stay in the euro and leaving the single currency is “alarmist,” represents a “vulgar propaganda campaign” against Syriza and is an attempt to “terrorize the Greek people” with a false dilemma, Tsipras said today in a speech in Athens, according to an e-mailed transcript of his comments from the party.

Two opinion polls for the Proto Thema and Real News newspapers published yesterday showed the bailout-supporting conservative New Democracy party, Greece’s biggest parliamentary party after May 6 elections, beating Syriza if a vote were held today. Another two for the Kathimerini and Metro newspapers put Syriza in first place.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads a group of European finance ministers, said a majority of his peers have doubts about Greece’s membership of the euro, Spiegel reported yesterday, without saying where it got the information.

Scaremongering about Greece’s exit from the euro area, which would involve “huge costs,” is nonsense and propaganda, Tsipras said, referring to Juncker. Rather, it’s the continued implementation of Greece’s memorandum that will lead the country to bankruptcy and a return to the drachma, he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Paul Tugwell in Athens at ptugwell1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at jcolten@bloomberg.net


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