Monday, June 18
Welcome to Kathimerini English Edition's live blog for the Sunday, June 17, general elections in Greece. Following Sunday's vote we will be updating you with news and opinion throughout the week.
21.51 Party leader are due to meet again tomorrow. From us, have a good night.
21.21 Fotis Kouvelis of Democratic Left says after his 45-minute meeting with Antonis Samaras -- which is the last of the day for the leader of first-placed New Democracy -- that "Democratic Left does not give blank cheques," and reiterated his party's seven points that are imperative for participation, such as a revocation of the minimum wage and of the abolition of collective labor agreements.
20.42 A communique seen by Reuters from the G20 summit in Mexico suggests that the world's most industrialized nations want Europe to take "all necessary measures" to combat eurozone crisis.
20.27 Negotiations to form a government in crisis-struck Greece look set to enter a second day, after the head of the country’s socialist party insisted on a broad coalition and says negotiations must wrap up by the end of Tuesday.
20.07 An amateur video shot on a camera phone by a bystander sends shockwaves as it shows a group of young men dressed in black t-shirts attacking someone in the stairwell of the Attiki Metro station, and records the man's cries for help. The video was shot last night at around 11.30 p.m. and later reports confirmed that the group involved 25 men of whom a number were Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) supporters. The man they attacked -- using their feet, fists and a knife -- was a Pakistani national. Arrests were made but the suspects were released after the victim was unable to identify them.
19.46 Antonis Samaras makes a brief statement following his meeting with Panos Kammenos, who was ousted from New Democracy earlier this year and went on head his own party, Independent Greeks, on an anti-memorandum platform. He said that they found no common ground.
19.37 As expected, no agreement between Antonis Samaras and Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos. The latter says he will not be part of a coalition government but would support any bills that release Greeks from the grip of the country's lenders.
19.17 SYRIZA argues that positioning itself as a strong opposition party could also help New Democracy's position in negotiations with Greece's creditors when it comes to unpopular measures.
19.16 SYRIZA has said that it will not participate in a coalition and would rather stick to the role of opposition, a stance that was slammed by PASOK's Evangelos Venizelos as being "irresponsible."
19.10 New Democracy's Antonis Samaras will meet now with Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos and later with Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis.
18.52 PASOK's Evangelos Venizelos speaks after meeting with New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras: "The country must have a government by tomorrow," he said. "The best solution is a government of national consensus, consisting of New Democracy, SYRIZA, Democratic Left and PASOK," Venizelos says, even though SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras rejected a coalition earlier in the day during a meeting with Samaras. Venizelos calls Tsipras's statements last night as "extremely provocative," saying that the leader of SYRIZA had suggested that the only policy a unity government should pursue would be that set by SYRIZA. He calls it "irresponsible" to "create the conditions for the failure of the government." He adds that Greece needs to send a message of stability overseas. "Samaras's exploratory mandate must end tomorrow with a meeting between the leaders of the four political leaders with President Karolos Papoulias," Venizelos adds.
18.27 Citigroup does not share the optimism of other players in the Greek electoral outcome as it says that chances of a Greek euro exit within the next year or so are still 50-70 percent.
18.20 PASOK's Evangelos Venizelos is meeting with Antonis Samaras.
18.11 Fitch Ratings says the victory of Greece’s pro-bailout New Democracy has removed the immediate risk of the ratings company cutting the credit grades of fellow euro area member countries, according to Bloomberg. “Fitch will not place all eurozone sovereigns on rating watch negative as it had indicated would be the case if a Greek euro exit were a probable near-term event,” it said in an e- mailed statement.
17.56 ND's Antonis Samaras is scheduled to meet with Evangelos Venizelos of PASOK within the next few minutes, after which he will meet with Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos.
17.20 Kathimerini commentator Alexis Papachelas says Greeks have done their duty; it is now up to the politicians in "Making a new start."
16.42 Greece's Euro 2012 team spent more time watching election results on Sunday than they did studying next opponent Germany's victory over Denmark, Reuters reports.
16.19 Former European Central Bank Governing Council member Athanasios Orphanides warns that yesterday’s Greek election did not end the region’s debt crisis, according to Bloomberg, adding, however, that the outcome “was a very positive result for Europe as a whole” as “it gives time to the political leadership in Europe.”
16.13 UK PM David Cameron warns that any delay in forming a government in Greece "could be very dangerous," the BBC reports.
16.07 Reuters reports that French Government spokeswoman Najar Vallaud-Belkacem welcomed New Democracy's victory in Greece's parliamentary election, which relegated the anti-bailout SYRIZA party to second place and gave some relief to financial markets on Monday. "We are pleased that they have chosen the euro," she said. "We are ready to help them with this. President Hollande fought to put growth back on the European agenda precisely to send a positive signal to the Greeks."
15.50 A rising tide of violence must be curbed, says Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras in an apparent reference to extreme-right Golden Dawn which was re-elected to Parliament and whose members have been linked to several violent assaults. Tsipras calls on all political forces to unite and oppose violence. 'Democracy must oppose such incidents, he says.
15.48 Words of warning by Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras: 'History and the people will judge those appointed to govern,' he says.
15.43 Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras says the next 10 days, before a crucial EU summit, will be 'critical' and calls on New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras to move quickly to form a government. 'We would not waste a minute,' he said.
15.35 Syriza will be vindicated in its opposition to the memorandum, says leader Alexis Tsipras. 'We are certain we will be vindicated by developments in Greece and Europe,' he says, adding that 'the memorandum cannot offer hope to Greece or Europe.'
15.30 Referring to Sunday's victory speech by New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras, Syriza chief Alexis Tsipras says, 'I didn't hear from his lips yesterday any reference to renegotiation, I only heard vows to honor commitments, to honor signatures.'
15.13 Leftist Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras again rules out joining a coalition after talks with conservative New Democracy chief Antonis Samaras, saying his party must 'be in opposition as we represent opposite camps.' The 37-year-old leftist calls on Samaras not to waste time in forming a government, to make good on his pledge to renegotiate the memorandum and not to cut salaries and pensions further as this would be 'disastrous' for the country.
14.51 Antonis Samaras talks about need to renegotiate the memorandum. Change of policy is "self-evident," he says.
14.48 ND leader Antonis Samaras to meet with Panos Kammenos of Independent Greeks at 7 pm.
14.47 ND leader Antonis Samaras: We need a national unity govt, involving as many parties as possible. Tsipras does not want to participate.
14.40 A rocky coalition between New Democracy and the pro-bailout left could leave Syriza as a formidable force in opposition, writes Nick Malkoutzis in the Guardian | The Greek election may yet prove a victory for Syriza
14.38 Alexis Tsipras says that after the elections Samaras has said nothing about renegotiating the memorandum.
14.37 After meeting with ND leader Antonis Samaras, left-wing leader Alexis Tsipras says that SYRIZA would not take up mandate to form coalition government.
14.35 New Democracy's Adonis Georgiadis says that Democratic Left should be included in a coalition government.
14.29 Meeting between Antonis Samaras and Alexis Tsipras completed.
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14.20 "The June 17 elections allow us to keep open a channel of communication with our partners so that we can work on a new plan for a way out of the crisis with the least possible instability. But it is very likely that we have just slowed our rush toward the cliff and burned our brakes in the process," writes Nikos Konstandaras | We gained some time, but burned our brakes
14.14 Germany expects the next Greek government to stick to the terms of the bailout agreement which remain non-negotiable, officials said on Monday, while comments from the foreign minister about giving Athens more time for reforms were quickly slapped down. Read more here.
14.09 In interview with Spanish radio, European Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj urges Greece to implement reforms.
14.07 British PM David Cameron to warn of "perpetual stagnation" if eurozone crisis not resolved in Mexico speech, BBC reports.
14.00 SYRIZA's Dimitris Papadimoulis: Our 27 percent will reinforce Greece's bargaining power abroad. Result was a strong message against austerity, recession.
13.23 The head of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Constantinos Michalos, says "there are no excuses for the political leaders of the parties that believe in the country's European future to refuse to form a government that will ensure Greece's place in the eurozone and the European Union." Business leaders are eager for a government to be formed as soon as possible and to restore confidence in the Greek market.
12.44 ND leader Antonis Samaras appears optimistic over forming a long-term pro-European government with broad social consensus as he meets with President Karolos Papoulias and receives the mandate to form a government.
12.32 New Democracy's Antonis Samaras arrives at the Presidential Palace to receive the exploratory mandate to form a government, as the caretaker prime minister, Panayiotis Pikrammenos, urges a solution as soon as possible.
12.20 Former Prime Minister Costas Simitis says New Democracy, PASOk and Democratic Left "must cooperate or risk leading Greece out of the eurozone and to the drachma."
12.16 New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras is scheduled to meet with SYRIZA's Alexis Tsipras at 2 p.m. after receiving exploratory mandate to form a government from President Karolos Papoulias.
12.11 According to protocol, President Karolos Papoulias rejects PM Panayiotis Pikrammenos's resignation, saying he has to "hang in there" until a new government is formed. The president also congratulated the caretaker premier for his -- albeit brief -- service to the country.
11.57 Caretaker Prime Minister Panayiotis Pikrammenos heads to the office of President Karolos Papoulias to tender his resignation.
11.33 The island of Samos in the eastern Aegean elects its first woman MP in SYRIZA's Agni Kalogeri.
11.25 An electoral representative for New Democracy is being questioned by a prosecutor in Lamia on suspicion for stuffing the ballot box in favor of ND.
11.22 Athens bourse opens six basis points up on Sunday's election results.
11.20 Absention reached a record 37 percent in yesterday's elections, according to Interior Ministry figures.
11.10 Parliament Speaker Vyron Polydoras scheduled to meet with President Karolos Papoulias at 11.30 a.m. Following the meeting President Papoulias is expected to give Antonis Samaras an exploratory mandate for the formation of a new government.
Speaking on Skai TV, New Democracy member and former Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis says he is "confident that a government will be formed by Wednesday."
10.19 Caretaker Interior Minister Antonis Manitakis informs Parliament Speaker Vyron Polydoras of the outcome of the June 17 general elections. Polydoras, in turn, will announce the results to President Karolos Papoulias.
9.48 German Deputy Finance Minister Steffen Kampeter on Monday said that his country expects Greece's new government to honor existing commitments, but added that Athens should not be pushed too hard on its reforms.
9.29 International reaction to Sunday's elections has been swift. "We are hopeful that the election results will allow a government to be formed quickly," said the president of the European Council and the European Commission, Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Barroso, in a joint statement. "We will continue to stand by Greece as a member of the EU family and the euro area," they added in a statement issued in Mexico, on the eve of the G20 summit.
9.13 New Democracy's 50-seat bonus which goes to the leading party, still leaves the conservatives short of the 151 seats required for absolute majority in Parliament. The possibility of turning to SYRIZA in view of a large-scale coalition was swiftly rejected by the radical left coalition's leader Alexis Tsipras, who said his party should stay in opposition and fight against austerity measures.
9.04 “Greece’s position in Europe will not be put in doubt. Fear will not prevail,” Samaras stated in a speech from Zappeio Hall on Sunday night, describing the outcome as “a stable foundation for national unity with a European direction.” He appealed to political forces to join a government of national salvation and said that “There is not time for political games, the country must be governed.”
9.01 Here are the final results of the June 17 elections: New Democracy earned 29.66 percent (129 seats), Syriza rose to 26.89 percent (71 seats), PASOK was third with 12.28 percent (33 seats), followed by Independent Greeks with 7.51 percent (20 seats), Golden Dawn with 6.92 percent (18 seats), Democratic Left with 6.25 percent (17 seats) and the Communist Party with 4.50 percent (12 seats). The Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), the Ecologist Greens and the liberal alliance between Dimiourgia Xana (Recreate Greece) and Drasi all failed to gather the 3 percent threshold required for them to enter Parliament.
9.00 Greece’s second national elections in as many months reflects the country’s new political landscape: While conservative New Democracy emerged as the winner over radical left coalition SYRIZA, the result still left doubts about the formation of a new government.