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Editorial

What is S&D Group President Pittella Trying to Say When He Congratulates Greece’s Syriza?

| February 5, 2015

S&D Group President Gianni Pittella was among the first to congratulate Syriza, the populist, new-left winner of Greece’s parliamentary elections earlier this week. The S&D Group, it seems, has some interesting friends.

Other EU leaders were “slow to congratulate” Greece’s new governing party, reports the EU Observer. That should come as no surprise considering the positions of the Syriza leadership.

The recently named financial minister, Yanis Varoufakis (a self-declared “erratic Marxist”), said the EU is anti-democratic and operates like an irrational cartel. Newly elected prime minister and former leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left, Alexis Tsipras, is no less blunt in his criticism. Having begun his political career with the Communist Youth of Greece, he considers the EU’s fiscal targets unachievable for any country and refuses to recognize its authority in financial matters.

Ponder for a moment those words about the EU and fiscal responsibility: anti-democratic, irrational, unachievable. Do President Gianni Pittella and the S&D Group feel the same? With socialist governments in Italy and France also failing to meet deficit targets, is it simply coincidence that Prime Minister Renzi and President Hollande were also quick to welcome Syriza’s victory? Do Italy and France expect other eurozone countries to pay for their debts, too? Will they back Syriza in an attempt to evade their own responsibilities?

Some have forgotten that Hungary faced a serious debt crisis back in 2008 and had to turn to the IMF for an emergency bailout. But Hungary, under the Orbán Government, chose a different path, a path of fiscal responsibility.

Since 2010, Hungary has reduced its deficit to below 3 percent of GDP and exited the EU’s excessive deficit procedure for the first time since becoming an EU member in 2004. Our economy posted a 3.2 percent GDP growth rate in 2014, putting us among the leading Member States. More jobs have put unemployment at an 11-year record low.

The S&D Group, however, dropped PASOK, the left-wing party in Greece that stands on the side of fiscal responsibility, in favor of Syriza, which seems to favor financial irresponsibility even if it threatens the stability of the euro.

This radical left-inspired brand of fiscal irresponsibility, advanced by a group that has its roots in communist movements, has no place in our Europe of the 21st Century.