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EU welcomes Tsipras victory, says no 'time to lose' on reforms

21 september 2015, 18:09

The EU on Monday congratulated Alexis Tsipras on his left-wing party's re-election victory and said Greece has "no time to lose" in implementing the reforms agreed as part of its international bailout, AFP reports.

Tsipras secured his second mandate as prime minister this year at a snap general election Sunday that should allow him to drive through the unpopular reforms under a third rescue package worth up to 86 billion euros ($97 billion).

"The commission congratulates Alexis Tsipras for his victory," European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas told reporters. 

He recalled that under Tsipras's previous leadership, Greece already "committed to an ambitious programme of reforms" to revive the country's economy as he led the negotiations that culminated in the bailout deal signed in Brussels in August. 

"The new government will now have the mandate to carry out those reforms... There is a lot of work ahead and no time to lose."

Schinas said Greece's creditors -- the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund -- were expected to meet over the next few months to conduct a review aimed at releasing new funds under the bailout deal.

With around 90 percent of votes counted, the Syriza party looked set to secure close to an absolute majority in the country's 300-seat parliament, with a smaller nationalist party expected to join forces and push it over the top.

The commission also welcomed what it saw as the "ample representation of pro-European parties" in parliament that are committed to a strong Greece within the 19-country eurozone, Schinas said. 

He added that Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has already written to Tsipras and will talk to him later in the day. 

Tsipras was expected to see Juncker in Brussels on Wednesday for an EU summit on the refugee crisis, which is hitting Greece particularly hard.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council which is hosting the summit, also congratulated Tsipras.

"I hope that the elections will now provide for the political stability necessary to face all the challenges at hand," Tusk wrote in a letter to Tsipras.

"Many of the biggest challenges facing the European Union as a whole are the same as those facing Greece as a country, such as the refugee crisis and the creation of sustainable growth and jobs," he said, adding he expected the new government in Athens "to contribute constructively" to rising to those challenges.

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