After Greece elected the far-left Syriza party to power, there have been talks that the country could leave the Eurozone currency area, while some politicians believe that it’s not possible to pay back the 240 billion euro ($270 billion) debt.
EU leaders have said Greece needs to live up to its promises and pay the money back. But new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who unveiled his cabinet Tuesday, has stressed Greece won’t be able to repay the bailout.
With a new government, it’s not clear what will happen next.
“The reality is we just do not know,” said Christopher Kline, who is the adjunct instructor of history at Westmoreland County Community College and Southern New Hampshire University. “However, we do know that this will ultimately put strain upon the EU and has the potential to be a precursor to other votes that are set to occur in the near future–most notably, the promised vote in the United Kingdom on a referendum on its future within the Eurozone.”
The new government could decide to get rid of austerity measures that are already in place, which would likely mean Greece would not be able to pay back its debts.
If this were to happen, however, Kline says “the events that would set in motion is not pleasant for the Euro zone due to the potential of a Greek bankruptcy which would be disastrous for the entire zone.” The most likely scenario that could unfold “is that some type of agreement will be met between the two sides but we do not know what that will look like,” he added.
On Tuesday, Tsipras picked an outspoken bailout critic, Yanis Varoufakis, as his finance minister. He also picked officials from Syriza’s coalition ally, the anti-bailout and right-wing Independent Greeks, to serve in his cabinet.
“We are determined to implement our program with courage and determination and not take one step back,” claimed senior Syriza official Dimitris Stratoulis, the new deputy minister for state welfare.
Tsipras chose economist and veteran left-wing politician Giannis Dragasakis as deputy prime minister and expanded powers for the ministries of development, environment, interior and public works — reducing the number of ministries from 19 to 11.
Panos Kammenos, the Independent Greeks leader, was named defense minister.
Finance Minister Varoufakis has been a vocal critic of Greece’s bailout agreements, arguing that repayment of the country’s huge rescue package loans should be linked to growth, a policy change he argues would benefit eurozone lenders.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.