Relief in Greece after bailout parties win

2012-06-18 07:19

Athens - Greek media breathed a sigh of relief on Monday after parties favouring an EU-IMF bailout deal won a knife-edge election, raising hopes of an end to a political deadlock that has stalled vital reforms.

"A breather of a verdict for Greece," liberal Kathimerini daily said of the second general election in two months that handed victory to the conservative New Democracy party, which has pledged to keep Greece in the euro.

With almost all votes counted, New Democracy controlled 129 seats in the 300-seat parliament and the socialist Pasok party - a likely coalition candidate - secured 33 seats, enough for a workable majority.

"There is stable ground for a coalition government," Kathimerini said.

"A vote of hope," opined Eleftheros Typos daily which supports the new ruling party.

Centrist daily Ethnos said that a "clear mandate" had been given for a government to keep Greece in the euro and renegotiate the terms of the bailout.


While delivering a mandate to keep crisis-hit Greece in the euro, the election also constituted a clear demand for changes in the austerity blueprint which is deemed to have plunged the country in a recession spiral.

The anti-austerity leftist Syriza party and its firebrand leader Alexis Tsipras came second, electing 71 deputies.

Overall, parties opposing the EU-IMF bailout will have 121 lawmakers in the new parliament.

Tsipras has ruled out joining a coalition, arguing that the harsh conditions for the bailout deal should be scrapped altogether.

Talks on forming a government are expected to start on Monday, with head of state Carolos Papoulias set to task New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras with piecing together a coalition.

"The country does not have a minute to lose," Samaras said late on Sunday.

"We ask all political forces which share the aim of keeping the country in the euro... to join a government of national unity," he said.

  • Koos - 2012-06-18 07:34

    The Greeks are in the habit of spending more on gold chains and cars than what they should be.

      gski700902 - 2012-06-18 11:53

      Your comment is based upon uninformed stereotyping. Perhaps you should visit Greece (I spent 3 weeks in Athens, Mykonos and Santorini last month) before commenting. The majority of Greeks aren’t festooned in gold chains (remarkably few, in fact). The majority of Greeks make use of scooters/motorbikes and public transport (petrol is cruelly expensive there, roads are over-crowded, vehicles are not practical given costs of purchase, running, maintenance and lack of road-space and parking).

  • luca.delbianco.3 - 2012-06-18 08:40

    so it seems the new powers to be in Greece will be asking to renegotiate terms of the latest EU is gonna be interesting to hear what Germany is going to reply to it.

      gski700902 - 2012-06-18 11:50

      Germany started implementing austerity measures in 2004, that’s why they’ve managed to hold things together. It will be interesting indeed…

  • joe.farmer.92775 - 2012-06-18 10:07

    2000 BC : Greek Gods 2012 AD : Goddamn Greeks

  • dorino.kalamaras - 2012-06-18 16:54

    Well I cant say that SA is much better... Corruption, blatant spending of public money, the race card gets played whenever it suits them, not to mention that garlic cures aids.. And above all, a slap in the face with the toll saga..Paying for roads we build with our tax money. So - what makes us better than the Greece ? I have been to Greece.. I see professionals (lawyers, doctors etc.) suffering with no income. It is sad to see hard working people losing their homes and eating hand-outs. Suicide is on the increase in Greece.

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