Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/GettyImages
Greeks appears to have given some relief to world markets for once by narrowly electing in a pro-European parliament in the closely watched elections Sunday. An official project shows conservative New Democracy with 29.5 percent, while the radical leftist Syriza coalition, which was pushing for a cancelation of Greece’s bailouts, behind with 27.1 percent. The pro-bailout Socialist PASOK party looks to come in third with 12.9 percent, reports Reuters.
With the 50-seat bonus given to the first-place winner, it seems clear that New Democracy and PASOK will form a pro-bailout coalition and obtain 161 seats in the 300-seat parliament. “The Greek people today voted for Greece to remain on its European path and in the euro zone,” New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras said, according to the Associated Press. The leader of Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, conceded defeat.
The BBC points out that when Samaras vowed that Greece would “honor its obligations,” it suggests that he will go ahead with the spending cuts that international creditors are demanding.
“For markets, a majority for an ND-Pasok coalition would be a relief,” a London-based economist said, according to Bloomberg. “It would very much reduce the risk of a Greek euro exit.”
The vote was essentially a do-over after a May election failed to select a clear winner. And while it seems that Greece has escaped that fate a second time, the result made it evident that Greek society remains deeply divided, meaning protests against the bailout and austerity measures could continue, points out Reuters.