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German press warns of false hopes from Greek poll

[BERLIN] German media on Monday warned Greeks that their creditors would not allow the electoral triumph of radical left party Syriza to back them into a corner in talks on Athens' massive debt.

"Sorry, Mr Tsipras, but that goes too far!" warned the daily Bild, Europe's top-selling newspaper, referring to Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras.

Bild called Syriza's platform "dangerous" for trying to reverse economic reforms championed by Germany, the paymaster of eurozone bailout packages.

"The eurozone is not a gambling den where everyone can play as he likes," Bild fumed.

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"A treaty is a treaty," it declared, saying that "Europe had upheld its end" of the deal since 2010 by providing "more than 200 billion euros" (US$225 billion) to Greece.

News website Spiegel Online was more measured, saying it was possible to see Syriza's stunning victory as a "horror scenario".

But it said that "this vote could also go down in history" marking "the day when Greeks took their own destiny into their hands".

"Tsipras deserves a chance. Were the Greeks really supposed to vote for a party that has driven the country to its knees?" it said, referring to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's New Democracy party.

The conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung called the result "the expression of the deep frustration of the electorate with the austerity policies of the last few years" as well as short-sighted actions of the established parties.

"But no matter what Tsipras has promised the Greek people, he can't avoid one truth: Greece needs more foreign money, either from the markets or from the EU," it said.

"He must choose between compromising with the troika or complete state bankruptcy, which would push Greece even more into the abyss."

Syriza and its 40-year-old leader Mr Tsipras won 149 seats in the 300-seat Greek parliament, just two short of an absolute majority, with most of the votes counted.

Samaras's New Democracy party was routed and reduced to around 76 seats.