Greece's outgoing coalition collapses

2012-05-07 08:59
Athens - Greece's two-party coalition, which imposed a harsh austerity programme in return for an international bail-out, has been routed, near-complete official figures showed early on Monday.

The Socialist Pasok party and the conservatives of New Democracy (ND) scored just 32.4% between them, plummeting from 77.4% in the 2009 vote, according to interior ministry figures based on 95% of the vote.

That makes it extremely difficult for the two parties to pursue the public spending cuts agreed in return for the multi-billion euro bail-outs from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.

Asian markets reacted with alarm to the Greek result - and the victory of Socialist candidate Francois Hollande in France's presidential election.

In early Monday trading in Japan, the euro hit its lowest level in more than three months, with the single currency changing hands at $1.2973 in morning trade, down from $1.3082 on Friday in New York.

They unit also fell against the Japanese currency, dropping to 103.57 yen from 104.50 yen on Friday.

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