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Greek seism rejects ‘bail-out’ parties and sends shockwaves to the EU

Monday, May 7th 2012 - 04:52 UTC
Full article 3 comments
New Democracy leader Samaras: a national salvation government to keep the country in the Euro New Democracy leader Samaras: a national salvation government to keep the country in the Euro

Greece's two governing parties, which back tough austerity measures, have lost their parliamentary majority in Sunday's election. With almost all votes counted, centre-right New Democracy is leading with 19%, down from 33.5% in 2009.

Centre-left Pasok is in third place with 13.3%, down from 43.9% in the last elections. Left-wing coalition Syriza is in second place with 16.7%.

Pasok and New Democracy have been in coalition since last November.

There is widespread anger across Greece to harsh measures imposed by the government in return for international bailouts. Syriza opposes the government's austerity measures.

The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party could enter parliament for the first time if their tally of almost 7% holds up.

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras said he would form a national salvation government to keep the country in the Euro. But he said he would seek to “amend” Greece's controversial EU-IMF bailout agreement in order to boost growth.

Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras said he wanted to form a left-wing coalition rejecting the terms of Greece's bailouts.

”The parties that signed the memorandum (with the EU and the IMF) are now a minority. The public verdict has de-legitimised them,“ he said.

”Our proposal is a left-wing government that, with the backing of the people will negate the memorandum and put a stop to our nation's predetermined course towards misery.“

Pasok leader and former Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos called for a broad coalition government of pro-European parties.

”A coalition government of the old two-party system would not have sufficient legitimacy or sufficient domestic and international credibility if it would gather a slim majority,“ he said.

”A government of national unity with the participation of all the parties that favour a European course, regardless of their positions toward the loan agreements, would have meaning.“

He added: ”For us in Pasok, today is particularly painful. We knew the price would be heavy and we had undertaken for a long time to bear it.“

Pasok was in power when Greece negotiated the terms of its 2010 bailout of 110bn Euros and was in a coalition with New Democracy when it secured this year's 130bn Euro deal.

In fourth place in the partial results was the new right-wing Independent Greeks with 10%. Its leader, Panos Kammenos, has already ruled out co-operation with either Pasok or New Democracy, Athens News reported.

Coalition negotiations can take place over three days. If they fail, the party in second place can try to form a coalition, and if still unsuccessful, the third party will receive the mandate.

If still no coalition emerges, Greece will hold another election - a prospect which would alarm heft country's international creditors.

The ability of any new government to carry on with the austerity program will be crucial for Greece's continued access to bailout funds from the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund - the so-called Troika.

Any political instability may prompt fresh questions over the country's place in the Euro zone. Under the current plan, a further 11bn Euros of savings in spending are due to be found in June.
Othan Anastasakis, director of south-east European studies at Oxford University, said it would be unprecedented if no party won more than 20% of the vote.

”The whole landscape becomes even more unpredictable after the election. We don't know if there will be a coalition or how long it will survive. I don't see it surviving very long. Greeks are sending a very strong message abroad, which is 'enough with austerity'” (BBC).-

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • briton

    good old greece, you tell em.
    down with the euro

    May 07th, 2012 - 10:37 am 0
  • Stefan

    If Greece falls, is it the beginning of a domino effect? Will Spain be toppled upon the shock wave? I wouldn't be surprised if Hungary was forcibly kicked out soon, as the Jobbik party seem to be preparing for a Kristallnacht for the Roma population. I find it strange how people forget that it wasn't even a century ago when Europe was a jigsaw puzzle on fire. I can't say we're doing much better in the US however. Not with Obama steering the ship over the Niagara Falls.

    May 07th, 2012 - 08:07 pm 0
  • Anti-Fascist

    Argentina is a product of colonialism, conquered by the sword, most of the natives killed and infected by disease, their land taken from them and worked by imported African slaves, oversean by imported European colonials. The African's who made up 50% of the population would themselves completely disapear from Argentina between 1850-1900 in what could have been a chilling fore runner to the disareances of the Dirty War in the 1970's when an estimated 30,000 Argentines were raped, tortured and murdered, many more were held illegally in detention camps and tortured. The true figure for the dead could be as high as 100,000, no one knows because there is little official documentation and most bodies were dumped in the sea.

    Argentina took land from its neighbours in numberous wars , civil wars and land grabs - Paraguay, Uraguay, Chile. Today Argentina despite the changed political landscape is still a nation characterised by uber nationalism. The claim to the Falklands was surendered in 1850 but reserected in 1941 by a fascist junta, which inc Peron, they thought their friends the Nazi were going to win the war, the Falklands looked easy picking.

    In 1982 Argentina was under the latest succession of a series of fascism military junta's. Their hold on power was looking precarious, in deperation they sort a war, Chile looked like a good victim, they already claimed lots of land and were ignoring the international tribunals that had ruled in Chile's favor. But then they changed their mind and invaded the Falklands. Today the war is romanticized by a nation ruled by a kind of cross between a Neo-Nazi uber nationalist and a Charvesta Revolutionary uber Marxist. The only thing missing is the land reform. Maybe that's for later? But as few natives remain, maybe they'll just ignore their rights... God knows they always have. An entire culture replaced by a European one. Entire languages destroyed.

    Timmerman should take time to read about his country's history.

    May 08th, 2012 - 02:42 am 0
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