France Analysis

Greek drama: can French Left copy Syriza's success?

Sections of the Left in France greeted Syriza's triumph in the Greek elections on Sunday with great enthusiasm, with some hailing it as an “historic moment”. But the success of the Greek party, which unites various left-wing groups, has also highlighted the continuing divisions on the Left in France and its own failure to create a lasting electoral coalition. At the same time the challenges facing the new Syriza government, which is seeking to end austerity and renegotiate its debt burden with the EU and international bodies, underline the problems facing any left-wing administration in Europe. A key question is whether France's own socialist president, François Hollande, will now seize the opportunity to change economic direction and push the EU and Germany to back more growth-oriented policies. First, Mediapart's Stéphane Alliès, in Paris, examines how the French Left will react to the Greek results, then Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant wonders whether any truly left-wing policies can be carried out by national governments under current eurozone rules.

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The stunning election victory by the radical left Syriza party in Greece on Sunday has been greeted with delight by the radical left in France. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, founder of the Parti de Gauche, described it as an “historic moment” and quickly put the election result in a wider context. “Perhaps we will have the chance to remake Europe,” he told BFM TV. The national secretary of the French Communist Party, Pierre Laurent, said the victory held out “hope for all those who reject policies of austerity”.

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