In the Greek election, Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) ended up with 149 seats, just two seats short of a majority. It quickly agreed to form a coalition with ANEL, the party known as Independent Greeks, which won 13 seats. This is a right-wing party.
A deal with the right-wing party makes an unusual alliance between parties on the opposite end of the political spectrum but brought together by a mutual hatred for the EU/IMF bailout program keeping Greece afloat.
Despite the seemingly odd combination of left and right, the prospect was foreshadowed:
A party born of Greece’s economic crisis, the nationalist Independent Greeks (ANEL) helped Syriza block a presidential vote in December that brought about Sunday’s general election. Party leader Panos Kammenos, 49, has been preening himself as a potential partner for Syriza partner ever since.
Apparently To Potami (The River, a new party, with 17 seats) was interested in joining Syriza, but the latter rejected the idea of working with a more centrist party in favor of one sharing their hardline stance on the EU loan terms, even if that meant a party on the opposite side of so many other issues.
ANEL’s campaign also apparently signaled a role working with Syriza:
ANEL’s tongue-in-cheek campaign ad made plain Kammenos’ aspirations: he walks into a shop and gives a little boy named Alexis — a stand-in for fresh-faced Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras — tips on how to steer his toy train.
The possibility of Syriza-ANEL cooperation was raised back in November, and denied by a Syriza MP. That should have been our sign that it was inevitable that that would work together!