Monday, May 07, 2012

New Elections Likely in Greece

Voters Rebuke Major Parties, Politics of Austerity

Voters in Greece's parliamentary election pushed the country into more political uncertainty Sunday after no party came close to winning enough votes to form a government.

The results reflected widespread voter anger at the two major parties that have dominated Greek politics for decades and the EU-imposed austerity measures that have deepened the country's economic crisis.

As of this writing, the conservative New Democracy party won about 19% of the votes--the most of any single party. But the percentage falls far short of the number needed to form a government.

The Socialist PASOK party won less than 14% of the vote, after taking 44% just three years ago to take power. The leftist, anti-EU bailout Syriza party won about 17%,

New Democracy party leader Antonis Samaras now has three days to form a coalition government. He is expected to begin coalition talks later today. If he can't form a coalition, smaller parties get a chance.

The bottom line: new elections are likely.

The most alarming result was a gain for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. It is projected to win 7% of the vote, giving it 22 deputies.