Greek Elections 2012
Greek Elections 2012, Greeks angered by a vicious and protracted financial crisis punished the parties that have dominated politics for decades Sunday, with projected election results showing them hemorrhaging support to anti-bailout groups and no party gaining enough ballots to form a government.
Responding quickly to the protest vote, the heads of the parties in first and second place pledged to seek to either renegotiate the terms of Greece’s multibillion dollar international bailout agreement or overturn it.
More than two years of repeated austerity measures in return for bailout loans from other European Union countries and the IMF have pushed Greece into a deep recession that has seen the jobless rate explode and tens of thousands of businesses close. The misery has infuriated voters who on Sunday dealt a massive blow to the decades-old dominance of the country’s two main parties, the socialist PASOK and conservative New Democracy.
The two, which have alternated in power since the end of the seven-year dictatorship in 1974, had managed to coexist in an uneasy alliance for the past six months as a governing coalition cobbled together to secure a second bailout deal and the biggest debt writedown in history.
Official projections Sunday showed New Democracy winning 18.9 percent, giving it 108 seats in the 300-member parliament – far short of the 151 needed to form a government. The anti-bailout left-wing Syriza party was projected second with 16.8 percent and 51 seats, and the formerly majority socialist PASOK lagged behind with 13.4 and 41 seats.
The extremist far-right Golden Dawn party, which ran on an anti-immigrant platform and wants landmines along Greece’s borders, is projected to win 7 percent of the vote, giving it 22 deputies in Parliament – a massive gain for a party that until a few months ago was on the fringes of Greek politics.
With no outright majority, a coalition government will have to be formed. If successive efforts by the top three parties fail, the country will head into new elections – a prospect that has alarmed Greece’s international creditors. (Huffington Post)
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