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Right wins in Greece, loses in France

UPDATED Greece will stay in the eurozone after an election victory by the New Democracy party.

Nevil Gibson
Mon, 18 Jun 2012

Parliamentary elections in Europe that will help determine the future of the euro crisis have swung both ways on the political spectrum.

In Greece, the right has defeated an attempt by the left to pull the country out of the eurozone, while in France socialist President Hollande's party has won an absolute parliamentary majority.

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras has declared victory in the Greek election wants to form a government as soon as possible.

He said Greeks had voted to stay in the eurozoe, and called for a "national salvation government".

The leader of the anti-bailout Syriza party, Alexis Tsipras, which came a close second, agreed Mr Samaras should be first to try to form a coalition.

With 60% of votes counted, interior ministry projections put New Democracy on 30.1% of the vote (130 seats), Syriza on 26.5% (70) and the socialist Pasok on 12.6% (33).

Pasok is also a supporter of the bailout agreement and wants Greece to remain in the eurozone. Four other anti-bailout parties look set to take between 60 and 70 seats. They include the far-right Golden Dawn, which looked set to secure about 7% of the vote.


In Greece, the conservative New Democracy party has a mandate to form a government and honour the bailout conditions agreed with the EU.

This should maintain its membership of the eurozone.

New Democracy’s victory over the anti-bailout radical leftist Syriza party was narrow but sufficient.

Latest official projections give New Democracy 30.5% of the vote (131 seats) and its likely coalition partner Pasok has 12.9% (34).

New Democracy’s ability to form coalition will benefit from a rule that gives it 50 extra seats in the 300-seat chamber. Syriza is on 26% giving it 69 seats.

Meanwhile, France’s Socialist party is tipped to win a won enough seats in the National Assembly to form an absolute majority. Voting projections suggest the Socialists and their allies will take more than 320 out of 577 seats.

The result is the best achieved by the Socialists in modern French history and will give President François Hollande strong backing for his recent victory over Nicolas Sarkozy.

The vote was the second round of a two-part parliamentary election. The turnout was a record low, at 55.9%.

The latest projections suggest the conservative UMP party and its allies will win between 212 and 234 seats, and the far-right National Front between two and four seats.

Nevil Gibson
Mon, 18 Jun 2012
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Right wins in Greece, loses in France