James Mates

Europe Editor

As Europe Editor, James Mates reports and adds analysis to the most significant stories and complex events taking place in Europe. James also regularly presents ITV News programmes.

  1. James Mates

Tsipras breaks with Greek tradition with political oath

Tsipras with Archbishop Ieronymos ahead of his swearing in. Credit: RTV

We are right outside the Presidential palace, where Alexis Tsipras just walked in for his meeting with the President, at which he will be asked to form a government.

Having done that deal with coalition partners this morning, that formality will be completed. There will then be a swearing in ceremony - conducted by the Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens.

Tsipras arriving at the Presidential palace in the last hour. Credit: Georgina Brewer/ITV News

Tsipras has asked that it not be religious in nature as he is an atheist, making him the first to take a purely political oath as leader.

He will then go to a memorial to victims of the Nazis during World War Two, before getting on with the business of running the country - which will start later this afternoon.

  1. James Mates

Victory for Syriza could lead to fresh eurozone crisis

Europe had been expecting Syriza to win this election but they thought they might win it narrowly, or need coalition partners, with all the compromises that that would involve but in fact they've won big.

The party has been given a very clear mandate and in fact they may even be able to govern on their own.

They will certainly have the ability, if they choose to use it, to make some very serious changes in Greece.

But there is a contradiction here at the heart of their policies, because they want to stay in the Euro and they want to keep their share of the single currency, yet they don't want to obey by the eurozone's rules on taxing, spending, budget deficits and they don't want to repay their debts.

The eurozone, effectively Germany, is going to have to decide - do we cut the Greeks loose, is the eurozone strong enough to lose a small member or do we make compromises and try to accommodate this new government, with the risk that they end up having to do the same with other countries.

  1. James Mates

Syriza facing a fundamental Eurozone contradiction

There is a fundamental contradiction here, Syriza want to effectively break the Eurozone's rules by not repaying debt, by being let off various taxing, spending and budget deficit strictures as laid down by Berlin.

But at the same time they, and 75% of Greek voters, do not want to leave the Euro.

They believe they can square that circle by mediation but the German central bank is already saying that is not going to happen.

The problem for the Eurozone is that Spain, Italy, France all have anti-austerity parties as well. If they let the Greeks go their own way, everyone else will want to do the same.

Load more updates