Greece’s new conservative parliament convenes after elections | AFP

Greece’s new parliament is sworn in after July 7 elections that saw a broad conservative victory end over four years of leftist rule. The 51 members of the new government swore the oath of office on the Bible in a ceremony led by the Archbishop of Athens Ieronymos, in line with Greek tradition. That further underlined the break with the term of defeated leftist prime minister Alexis Tsipras, an atheist, who had taken the oath in a civil ceremony in 2015. Mitsotakis, a pro-business conservative, has vowed to ditch Tsipras’s proposals to separate Church and state. IMAGES

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Conservatives beat Tsipras in Greek vote: exit polls | AFP

Greece’s conservative New Democracy party has defeated Greek leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Sunday’s general election, exit polls showed. Supporters of Greek leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras watch with growing dissapointment as a combined survey by Greece’s main TV stations showed New Democracy leading Tsipras’s Syriza party by an average of 40 percent to 28.5 percent. IMAGES

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Election favourite Mitsotakis arrives at party headquarters | AFP

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, leader of the conservative opposition party in Greece, who is expected to oust leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in the first national election of the post-bailout era, enters the headquarters of his party, New Democracy. IMAGES

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Tsipras and Mitsotakis vote in Greece’s general election | AFP

Greek voters cast their ballots in the country’s first national election of the post-bailout era, with leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s Syriza party expected to be ousted by the conservative opposition led by Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Exit polls are expected soon after polls close and the first results should come in around 09.00 pm.

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Greece’s Mitsotakis vows to ax “excessive taxes”

Greek conservative opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has told the Associated Press that he is determined to ax “excessive taxes” if his party wins the upcoming general election. He accused current Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of heaping taxes on the middle class to avoid difficult reforms, adding that “everyone seems to agree that we have to lower taxation including our creditors.”

The Establishment Politician Trying to Win Back Greece

Greece is poised to do something increasingly rare in Europe these days: elect an establishment politician as their next prime minister.

Despite presiding over a fragile economic recovery, Greeks appear to have grown tired of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Syriza party, and are looking to shake things up during this Sunday’s legislative election.

All signs indicate Kyriakos Mitsotakis of the centre-right New Democracy party will come out on top.

If those projections hold and Greeks end up choosing the 51-year-old Mitsotakis on Sunday, voters won’t just be voting for a fresh face, they’ll be ushering in a return to establishment politics.

Unlike Tsipras, who rose to power on a wave of anti-establishment sentiment and anger towards the EU, Mitsotakis represents Greek political aristocracy. His father Konstantinos was Prime Minister between 1990 and 1993.

“I think society realized that electing populists into power is not a solution to underlying economic problems. So essentially what is happening is the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction,” he told VICE founder Shane Smith during an interview at the New Democracy party headquarters in Athens.

He’s not shy about his establishment credentials either. One of Mitsotakis’s main campaign planks is convincing Greek’s that his financial stewardship can spur renewed confidence in the Greek economy, and lead the lenders who bailed out its economy to the tune of 240 billion euros over eight years to ease their strict requirement that Greece maintain a budget surplus of 3.5 percent.

“The key challenge is to restore high growth rates,” Mitsotakis said. “If the economy grows faster, our creditors are going to be happy because the debt is going to be repaid more easily.”

And to get the economy growing at a faster rate Mitsotakis is appealing to young Greek who left the country during the financial crisis to return.

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Greece demands Germany to pay over $300bn in WW2 reparations

Greece’s parliament on Wednesday began debate on a resolution to demand the payment of German war crime reparations. The issue has long been disputed by Berlin. ‘These demands are always active. They were never set aside by Greece,’ parliament chairman Nikos Voutsis said earlier this week.

The chamber is expected to approve a resolution calling on the government of Premier Alexis Tsipras ‘to take all the necessary diplomatic and legal steps to claim and fully satisfy all the demands of the Greek state stemming from World War I and World War II,’ AFP reported.

A parliamentary committee last year determined that Germany owes Greece at least $305 billion for World War I damages and looting, atrocities and a forced loan during the Nazi occupation in World War II.

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Greek PM Tsipras visits North Macedonia

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev welcomes Greek Prime minister Alexis Tsipras to Skopje on his first visit after resolving a 27-year row over North Macedonia’s name. It is the first official visit by a Greek prime minister since the former Yugoslav republic declared independence in 1991, kicking off the name row that roiled diplomatic ties for nearly three decades as the neighbours tussled for ownership of the name Macedonia and its cultural heritage. IMAGES of Zoran Zaev and Alexis Tsipras

N.Macedonia to see economic benefits from name-change deal: PM

North Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev says his country is welcoming “big (Greek) companies with billions in annual revenues” after its name-change deal with Greece, on the eve of a landmark visit from his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras in Skopje.

Greek PM Tsipras meets Greek Oxthodox Patriarch in Istanbul

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meets Greek Oxthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constaninople in Istanbul. Tsipras earlier met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday for talks to ease tensions over bilateral disputes and the long-running Cyprus problem. Tsipras is the first Greek premier to visit Turkey in six years. IMAGES of Tsipras arriving and meeting with Greek Oxthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constaninople, and of the religious service

Greek PM meets Turkish President for talks to ease tensions

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meets Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for talks to ease tensions over bilateral disputes and the long-running Cyprus problem. IMAGES of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras meeting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Greek MPs ratify Macedonia name change in historic vote

Greek lawmakers ratify a landmark name change deal with neighbouring Macedonia, handing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras a diplomatic triumph and bucking street protests to end one of the world’s most stubborn diplomatic disputes. A narrow majority of 153 MPs in the 300-seat chamber approved the deal, with several independent lawmakers supporting Tsipras’ leftist Syriza party. IMAGES of the Greek Parliament and SOUNDBITE of the House Speaker Nikos Voutsis reading results in Greek

Greek PM Tsipras visits scene of deadly wildfire disaster

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pays his first visit to the area ravaged by the country’s worst ever wildfires as anger mounts over his government’s response to the disaster that left scores of people dead. His trip was not announced beforehand in what local media said was a bid to avoid protests by residents of the hard-hit seaside villages east of Athens – Mati and Rafina.

Yes or No? Greece Again on the Brink: Greek Debt Crisis (Dispatch 1)

For the past five years, Greece has been struggling with a financial crisis that has led the country to the brink of an exit from the euro and an economic collapse.

A huge bailout program of 240 billion euros ($266bn), borrowed from European countries and the International Monetary Fund, has let Greece survive for now, yet cuts and austerity measures have ensued.

Since last January, the new Syriza government has pledged to renegotiate the terms of the bailout program with its international creditors, promising an end to austerity. On June 26, after five months of negotiations, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced a referendum, calling the country to vote on whether or not to accept the new bailout proposal by its lenders.

Given the expiry date of the funding program just a few days later — and a lack of cash in the country — Greek banks were temporarily shut, a capital control was imposed, and people started queuing at ATMs to withdraw cash with a limit of 60 euros per day.

For many, the choice between “Yes” or “No” in Sunday’s vote has been interpreted as “Yes to Europe” or “No to austerity.”

VICE News took to the streets of Athens in an effort to understand what this critical moment for the country might mean for its position within Europe and the world, and most of all, for the Greek people.

Watch “Death Boats to Greece: Europe or Die” – http://bit.ly/1H3Tldb

Read “Greece Offers Last Ditch Bailout Plan Before Clock Runs Out at Midnight” – http://bit.ly/1IS5y2K

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Austerity and Anger: Protests Against Syriza’s EU Deal

On January 25, the leftist party Syriza emerged victorious in Greece’s national elections. Days later, Alex Tsipras, the new 40-year-old prime minister, formed a coalition government with a strong mandate to renegotiate Greece’s bailout terms and reduce its large debt pile, built up over the five-year financial crisis.

Tsipras and his team then engaged in bitter negotiations with the country’s international lenders. Athens sought to scrap the harsh measures attached to the bailout by describing the plight of austerity-hit Greeks as a “humanitarian crisis.” On February 20, a deal was clinched. The country’s loan agreement was extended by four months, giving Greece more breathing space to negotiate a better pact in the future, but also forcing Syriza to climb down on its pre-election promises.

Despite the deal, Greece is still broke and needs European loans to avoid bankruptcy. The new government’s popularity is slowly declining and uncertainty as to how Syriza will live up to its many promises remains.

Facing backlash from its own supporters, Syriza’s deal with the European Union has sparked angry demonstrations in Athens. VICE News attended the protests and spoke to people disillusioned with the current situation and the party’s pre-election pledges.

Watch “Greece’s Young Anarchists (Part 2)” – http://bit.ly/1xzrXm8

Read “Debt Deal Puts Greece’s New Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in a Tough Spot” – http://bit.ly/19FTaIY

Read “Anger at Greece’s Threat to Unleash Wave of Migrants and ‘Jihadists’ if Europe Leaves it in Crisis” – http://bit.ly/1FaTwUj

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