Thursday August 21, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
32o C
25o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Election swing leaves Greece teetering

 ND-PASOK deal looks unlikely as hard-left SYRIZA makes gains, neo-Nazis enter Parliament

Greece was plunged into political uncertainty on Sunday night as national elections produced a fragmented Parliament of at least seven parties and a result that could preclude New Democracy and PASOK forming a coalition government over the next few days.

The possibility of the two parties that backed Greece’s new bailout combining their forces was undermined by a collapse in their support, particularly in the case of PASOK. The Socialists suffered a drubbing around the country and looked to have been beaten into third place by the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) with what could be PASOK’s worst ever showing at the ballot box.

The election result was also notable for the entry into Parliament of the neo-Nazi Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn), which in 2009 had only gained 0.29 percent of the vote and looked set to gather close to 7 percent at these elections.

With 45 percent of the vote counted last night, New Democracy was leading with 20.23 percent. It was followed by SYRIZA on 15.94 percent and PASOK on 13.92 percent. The right-wing anti-bailout Independent Greeks party, formed just a few months ago, came fourth with 10.40 percent. The Communist Party (KKE) garnered 8.36 percent, which was lower than most opinion polls had suggested. Chrysi Avgi gained 6.84 percent and the Democratic Left was the last party certain of a place in Parliament with 5.99 percent.

Two other parties, Ecologist Greens and the nationalist Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), were close to gaining seats in the House with less than half of the votes counted.

The result means that in the best-case scenario, New Democracy, which will be awarded an extra 50 seats, and PASOK would only have a majority of a few MPs in the 300-seat Parliament. Even if they were able to agree to form a coalition, it would have weak political legitimacy in wake of an election that saw Greek voters move en masse toward parties that opposed the bailout agreed with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos and New Democracy chief Antonis Samaras both declared themselves open to the idea of forming a pro-European national unity administration that would include other parties and would seek to renegotiate the terms of the EU-IMF loan agreement.

“All Greeks have to get to know each other again,” said Venizelos, who admitted that PASOK had paid the price for carrying the burden of the crisis. “We embittered the people so we could protect the future of the nation.”

He said that the possibility of forming a national unity government with a “European orientation” regardless of parties’ positions on the bailout should be explored.

Samaras said he would seek to form a “national salvation government” to keep the country in the eurozone and pledged to “amend” Greece’s debt deal with foreign creditors in a bid to boost growth. He attributed the outcome of the elections, in which voters punished the two main parties, to “the disappointment of the Greek people for dead-end policies that have pushed them to the limits.”

However, the possibility of a third group joining such a government looked extremely slim last night.

Perhaps the best hope for Greece’s two main parties would have been Democratic Left, which maintained a clear pro-European stance during the campaign. However, party leader Fotis Kouvelis repeated his position that cooperation with New Democracy and PASOK was not in Democratic Left’s intentions. “The results show people’s frustration and anger,” he said.

A failure by PASOK and ND to form a government would leave second-placed SYRIZA, the night’s big winners, with the option of trying to form a government. Greece’s electoral law means that in case of a hung parliament, the first party has three days to form a government, followed by the second party and then the group that comes in third.

SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who at 38 led his party to its best election showing, ruled out the option of working with either New Democracy or PASOK and said he would try to form a coalition of parties opposed to the EU-IMF memorandum, starting with those on the left.

Tsipras said in a speech from his headquarters that the austerity policies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel “have suffered a crushing defeat.” He said he would appeal to the “forces of the left” in a bid to form a coalition to “abolish the memorandum.” “Their signatures have been undermined by the popular mandate,” he said, referring to the leaders of the outgoing coalition government.

Tsipras said his party’s showing in the elections constituted a “strong message, to Greece and to Europe, to overturn the status quo” and “a message of peaceful revolution.” ”The peoples of Europe cannot be reconciled with barbaric memorandums,” he said.

If the top three parties fail to form a coalition government, President Karolos Papoulias has the right to broker a deal to create a national unity administration. If this effort fails, Greece will have to go to new elections.

ekathimerini.com , Monday May 7, 2012 (00:25)  
Avramopoulos in US for talks with Hagel on possible Greek role in peace missions
Three held on Rhodes over human trafficking accusations
Brussels warns Greece over plans to allow construction near Korinos beach
Second man held over double murder in Mani
Eurozone business growth slows in July, prices fall: PMI
Eurozone private business growth slowed more than expected this month, despite widespread price cutting, as manufacturing and service industry activity both dwindled, a survey showed on Thur...
Merkel cites euro’s ‘construction flaws’ as economy sputters
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged euro-area leaders to coordinate more closely on economic policy and repair the “construction flaws” built into the 18- member currency union to overcome...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Greek soccer officials in refereeing probe to face prosecutor on Sept 15
Eleven soccer officials were on Wednesday given until September 15 before they have to face prosecutor Aristidis Koreas, who is investigating allegations that the draws to decide which match...
ATHLETICS
Long jumper Tsatoumas takes Greece´s second silver at European Championships
Greece won its second medal at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland, on Sunday with Louis Tsatoumas coming second in the long jump. Briton Greg Rutherford won the even...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Self-destructing political system
It finally seemed as if we had found some peace of mind. The vast majority of Greek MPs chose to abstain from festivities on August 15, also known as Assumption Day, thus sparing us from the...
EDITORIAL
Welcome movement
Many have spoken about the need to spur economic growth in this debt-wracked country, but very few officials seem to actually be doing anything meaningful to make this happen. Recent weeks h...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Avramopoulos in US for talks with Hagel on possible Greek role in peace missions
2. Three held on Rhodes over human trafficking accusations
3. Brussels warns Greece over plans to allow construction near Korinos beach
4. Eurozone business growth slows in July, prices fall: PMI
5. Merkel cites euro’s ‘construction flaws’ as economy sputters
6. Second man held over double murder in Mani
more news
Today
This Week
1. Merkel cites euro’s ‘construction flaws’ as economy sputters
2. Second man held over double murder in Mani
3. Eurozone business growth slows in July, prices fall: PMI
4. Brussels warns Greece over plans to allow construction near Korinos beach
5. Three held on Rhodes over human trafficking accusations
6. Avramopoulos in US for talks with Hagel on possible Greek role in peace missions
Today
This Week
1. Carved sphinxes at Ancient Amphipolis tomb will not be removed
2. Canada’s fiscal adjustment has lessons for Greece
3. Treating Amphipolis with care
4. Greece to offer law on restructuring bad loans next month
5. Greece’s recession eases as country nears end to six-year slump
6. Ministry sys ‘no’ to debt collection agencies
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.