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Favourite for PM says Greece faces `big clashes` ahead

The leader of the left-wing anti-austerity Syriza party which is favourite to win Sunday`s Greek general election said in a feisty final campaign speech there would be "major clashes" ahead as they sought a reduction in the massive debts saddling the country.

AFP| Updated: Jan 23, 2015, 04:00 AM IST

Athens: The leader of the left-wing anti-austerity Syriza party which is favourite to win Sunday`s Greek general election said in a feisty final campaign speech there would be "major clashes" ahead as they sought a reduction in the massive debts saddling the country.

"We are fully aware that from Monday, we are taking on a difficult task," Alexis Tsipras told tens of thousands of supporters in Athens.

"The path we have chosen requires determination, conviction and resolution to face major clashes. With a Syriza government, Greece will renegotiate its onerous and unsustainable debt firmly, with determination and together with its allies in Europe."

Tsipras, 40, said once his party was in power "there is no way we will accept the representatives of Mrs Merkel bringing her points of view", referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel whose country is seen in Greece as taking the hardest line on its debt.

"We have no intention of allying ourselves in a government with the representatives of the Memorandum," he added, using the word which in Greece has come to represent the vast catalogue of austerity measures imposed on the country in return for a huge bailout from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.

Tsipras was joined on stage by Pablo Iglesias, the leader of Spain`s anti-austerity Podemos party, who said: "A wind of democratic change is blowing over Greece. In Greece, this change is called Syriza. In Spain, it`s called Podemos."

Polls show that Syriza has a lead of at least four points over the incumbent conservative New Democracy party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.