The rating agency Standard and Poor's immediately warned the new government of a possible downgrade if it deviates from the IMF-EU austerity program and neo-liberal policies. Similar warning have come pouring in from official circles and banks across Europe. These are reminders that Greece has no leverage and that the patron-client integration model, austerity and neo-liberalism will remain exactly as the G-7 and financial markets dictate. By contrast, the new prime minister Alexis Tsipras visited the memorial site of Nazi war-crime victims, symbolically reminding Germany that it owes billions in war reparations to Greece, while reminding the West about the absence of justice when it comes to relations between core countries and periphery within the EU. Of course, the EU and US will try both co-optation and coersion and will even threaten to isolate Greece if it dares defy austerity measures and neo-liberalism.
The Europeans know very well that if Greece leaves the euro it will be even more costly for the creditor nations and the markets than if it remains and cuts a deal to reduce its public debt and payments it cannot possibly afford to make unless it impoverishes more than half of its population. The financial and political elites have major challenges not because SYRIZA won the election in January 2015, for that may prove highly symbolic victory for popular democracy, but because the rest of the world, especially the rest of EU, needed a concrete example to point the way to an alternative that at least addresses some social justice and gross socioeconomic inequality issues. If Spain follows the Greek example, that will not be just a symbolic defeat for neo-liberalism, but a substantive one with serious political and economic consequences for the EU. Fear and dread of popular democracy and national sovereignty on the part of the financial elites and mainstream political parties remains very strong motivator for the strategies they adopt to combat any efforts to water down neo-liberalism and the patron-client integration model on a world scale.
In foreign policy, SYRIZA will try to pursue a policy that tries to take into account the roles of China and Russia, while remaining part of the Western sphere of influence. Greek foreign policy government will depend on many factors. It is true that SYRIZA, like PASOK in the early 1980s, will have a rhetorical commitment of a more balanced foreign policy that takes into account Russia's interests in Greece and throughout the EU. In the last analysis, Greece is a NATO member, it is an EU member and it has constrictive conditions placed on it. On the other hand, Turkey is also a NATO member, but does not necessarily follow whatever the EU and US dictate. My guess is a foreign policy that at least takes into account China and Russia, while making accommodations to the West without submitting completely to the West as have previous regimes. One last caveat here, there is a huge difference between rhetoric politicians use for domestic and international consumption and what measures they take. SYRIZA has what I call "non-aligned" rhetoric employed, but in the end it will have to accommodate the West more than its leaders now realize.