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Greek leftist Tsipras hails victory against austerity, bailout

ATHENS, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Greek leftist leader Alexis Tsipras hailed the projected victory of his anti-austerity Syriza party in Sunday's snap election as a defeat for austerity and the EU/IMF bailout programme keeping the country afloat.

"The Greek people's mandate is undoubtedly closing the vicious circle of austerity. Your mandate in undoubtedly cancelling the bailouts of austerity and destruction, Greek people's mandate has put the troika in the past," Tsipras told thousands of cheering supporters in his first comments after partial results showed his party on track to win.

"Our victory is useful for the European people who fight against austerity."

Official projections show Syriza trouncing the ruling conservatives and possibly winning outright to govern alone.

"The new Greek government will be ready to cooperate and negotiate for the first time with our lenders for a fair and mutually beneficial solution," Tsipras said, adding that he would seek to avoid a "destructive" collision with European partners. "Our priority is that all Greek people regain their dignity."

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Lefteris Papadimas, Writing by Deepa Babington)