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GREECE – Pro-austerity party announces victory

Monday, June 18, 2012

With about 70 percent of the votes counted in the parliamentary elections in Greece, the pro-austerity party is winning the vote and the party’s leader has claimed victory.

New Democratic Party leader Antonis Samaras proclaimed victory in Athens. He said Greek people chose to stay in the Eurozone and says it is a victory for Greece and for all of Europe.

The Interior Ministry made the announcement at about 10:30 PM.
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The New Democratic Party, which calls for continuing austerity measures to remain in the Eurozone, has won 30.1 percent.
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The Coalition of the Radical Left, which is strongly opposed to austerity measures, received 26.4 percent.
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The leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left, Alexis Tsipras, has conceded defeat. He said the party will remain in the opposition and will monitor the government to represent the Greek people who oppose austerity.
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The New Democratic Party by itself is not expected to win a majority. It remains to be seen whether negotiations toward a coalition will result in stable government.

Jun. 17, 2012 – Updated 20:59 UTC (05:59 JST)

NHK.

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Greek exit polls: Leading parties neck-and-neck in high-stakes election
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The pro-bailout New Democracy party and the anti-austerity leftist Syriza party have gained roughly equal shares of the vote, according to first exit polls. At stake isn’t just control of Greece’s parliament but potentially the fate of the eurozone.
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With 40 per cent of the vote counted, the pro-bailout New Democrats have 30.45 per cent, ahead of the anti-bailout party Syriza behind with 26.04 per cent, according to the Greek Interior Ministry. The socialist party Pasok is in third with 12.8 per cent.

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The socialist party Pasok is in third place with 12.3 per cent.

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The official projection, based on votes counted on the spot at about 12 per cent of polling stations, predicts a New Democracy win.

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“I am relieved. I am relieved for Greece and Europe. As soon as possible we will form a government,” Reuters quoted New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras as saying as he left his office.

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He has said at a press conference that “the Greek people have voted for a European future for Greece. There will be no doubt about the position of Greece in Europe.”

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Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras has conceded the election and has reportedly called Samaras to congratulate the conservatives on their victory.

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The party that comes in first secures an extra 50 parliamentary seats, which will be crucial to its chances of forming a new government.

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Greece’s New Democracy lead with 127 seats, Syriza have 72, and Socialists 32, according to exit poll.

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The center-left party,Pasok, which is heading for 32 seats according to polls, is a potential partner for New Democracy in a possible pro-bailout coalition government.
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Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos has proposed a four-party coalition, saying that that Greece should form a government tomorrow and Syriza should also be in it. However, Syriza officials said that they would not join a New Democracy-led coalition.

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The results, if confirmed, may give both parties enough support for them to team up to form a government with a majority of 159 seats in the 300-seat Greek parliament.

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“I will make sure that the sacrifices of the Greek people will bring the country back to prosperity,” Antonis Samaras said at the press-conference.

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The election was the second in six weeks, and was called after a vote on May 6 resulted in no party winning enough votes to form a government.

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However, the vote is likely to decide not only Greece’s fate, but the future of the entire 17-member eurozone. If Greece leaves, it could spark a panic in other debt-stricken European nations like Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy.

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Polls show that most Greeks favor staying in the euro and all the main parties would like to keep Greece in the single currency bloc. At the same time Syriza believes it can renegotiate the bailout deal with the country’s creditors. 

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Syriza’s Alexis Tsipras had called for the annulling of the austerity package that is keeping Greece from defaulting on its debts.

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“We propose to upset the austerity measures and the bailout,” Tsipras said, adding, “this is the only viable solution for Europe”.

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Greece’s creditors say a new government must accept the conditions of the €130billion ($164billion) Greek bailout agreed in March or funds will be cut off, driving Athens into bankruptcy.

17 June, 2012

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RT.