Narrow Victory for Pro-Bailout Party in Greece
June 18, 2012
The Fresh Outlook
Narrow election victory for Greece’s broadly pro-bailout New Democracy party. Leader Antonis Samaras now wants to form a “national consensus”.
The Syriza party, which rejected the bailout terms, came a close second.
With 99.9% of ballots counted, interior ministry results put New Democracy on 29.7% of the vote (129 seats), Syriza on 26.9% (71) and the socialist Pasok on 12.3% (33).
The people of Greece had chosen to stay in the euro and called for a ‘national salvation government.’ There are 300 seats in parliament and Greece has a rule that gives the leading party and extra 50 seats.
New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras is expected to try for a broad coalition, hoping to create a stable government with a stronger popular mandate. He will push for a lightening of the bailout terms from Brussels, arguing that the Greeks have accepted more pain by electing a pro-bailout party and that Europe should now cut Greece some slack.
However, it was reported that only 40% of voters backed parties that broadly support the bail-out deal with the EU and the IMF.
Mr Samaras said: “A national salvation government must bring economic growth and reassure Greeks the worst is over.”
According to the BBC, Mr Samaras is in talks to form a coalition government.
By Talia Rose Hughes
[Image courtesy of European People’s Party]