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Danish left hails Syriza 'Red Spring'

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Danish left hails Syriza 'Red Spring'
Jubilation in Greece following Syriza's victory captured by the Red-Green Alliance's Pernille Skipper. Photo: Pernille Skipper
13:29 CET+01:00
Denmark’s far-left Red-Green Alliance has congratulated Greece for voting in the populist leftwing Syriza party, calling the party’s victory “an important day for Greece and also for the rest of Europe.”
Pernille Skipper, a policy spokesman for the party, who was in Athens to support Syriza ahead of Sunday’s election, called on Denmark’s government to work with the new Greek government to help it renegotiate its crippling debt. 
 
“The Greek people have clearly rejected the EU's neoliberal economic experiments,” she said in a statement “The Greeks have said no, that ordinary people should not have to foot the bill for the financial crisis. It should inspire people in other European countries.” 
 
Syriza won Greece's general election on Sunday with 36.4 percent of the vote, after its leader Alexis Tsipras vowed to end cuts in public spending and bring an end to what he called "five years of humiliation and pain".
 
With 36.4 percent of the vote, Syriza aims to govern in coalition with a smaller right-wing party.
 
Denmark’s two leading parties on Monday dismissed proposals to renegotiate Greece’s debt. 
 
Morten Bødskov, the EU spokesman for the ruling Social Democrats, said that Tsipras’s proposals were not realistic. 
 
“It’s an illusion to think that you can just sweep away all the debt, and it’s an illusion to believe that anyone’s gong to accept that there need be no reforms to the Greek system,” he said. “But of course, you won’t hear Tsipras saying that.” 
 
Jakob Ellemann-Jensen, the EU spokesman for the centre-right Venstre Party said that it would be “completely unreasonable and crazy” for Greece’s new government to believe that Germany and other European countries would agree to write off Greece’s debt. 
 
Syriza’s victory was welcomed across the European left, with Jonas Sjöstedt, the leader of Sweden’s Left Party telling The Local he was “delighted” with the result, which he hoped marked the start of a ’Red Spring' across Europe. 
 
Katja Kipping, the leader of Germany’s Left party, told the country's Bild newspaper that her party was  “hoping for a red spring in Europe”.
 
Populist left-wing parties are growing in force across Europe, with a new Spanish anti-austerity party Podemos drawing strong support. 
 
Denmark’s Red Green Alliance, led by the charismatic Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, had the support of some 8.5 percent of voters in a January 20th poll by Norstat, up from 6.2 percent of the vote in Denmark’s 2011 election. 
 
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