There has been wide coverage and strong reaction to a statement put out by two Green MEPs following the victory of Syriza in the Greek elections. South West MEP, Molly Scott Cato, and South East MEP, Keith Talyor, made the statement following the success of the anti-austerity party in the polls last Sunday:
“The result of the Greek elections has shown that the people of Greece have taken a strong stand against the politics of austerity. Greens share the view of the new government that austerity is a failed model which has piled misery on the poorest while making the wealthiest even richer. This result shows that challenging business as usual politics can win the support of the people. In the UK we are witnessing a Green Surge, in no small part due to our anti-austerity agenda, and we hope the Greek election result marks the beginnings of ordinary people standing up to a discredited economic model and failing Governments across Europe.”
The coverage painted the Greens as being strongly anti-austerity, a key message the Green Party is making in the run up to the General Election. The Telegraph reported that the ‘Green Party praises Syriza’s victory in Greece and calls for similar popular uprising in Britain’. The Mail went with: ‘Green Party hopes for anti-austerity surge in Britain’. According to The Guardian, ‘Green MEPs hailed the result as a victory for the forces opposed to austerity.’ Finally, the New Statesman contrasted the strong statement from Green MEPs with the weak, ‘it’s a matter for them’ response from Ed Milliband.
The Greek Green Party is a part of the Syriza coalition and had one MP elected. He has been appointed as deputy environment minister. Commenting on the coverage, Molly Scott Cato said:
“I am delighted the media have portrayed the Greens as a Party opposed to austerity. Greens in Greece and in Europe share the view of the new government that solving environmental problems means changing the current economic system.”