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6 years ago.
Recently Published : 6 years ago
conservative Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has claimed victory in
the country's parliamentary elections. With nearly all the votes
counted, his New Democracy party has 42% of the vote - a reduced
majority, but just enough to govern in its own right. The opposition
socialist PASOK party led by George Papandreou is behind on 38%. Both
major parties lost votes with smaller parties on the left and right
making significant gains.
Celebrations and relief for PM
Costas Karamanlis. His election campaign was badly singed by last
month's forest fires. He warned wavering voters he would not enter into
a coalition government. The gamble paid off. "You have given us a clear
mandate to continue our reforms," he told supporters. His New Democracy
party has held on to its absolute majority, but only just. There were
glum faces as the socialist party faithful watched the results come in.
PASOK leader George Papandreou conceded defeat for the second time in
four years, saying his party had reached a critical turning point.
Other party officials called it a Pyrrhic victory for Mr Karamanlis,
who now faces an uphill struggle to push through his economic reforms,
including an overhaul of the debt-ridden pension system. The Karamanlis
and Papandreou families have dominated Greek politics for half a
century. In this election, both political dynasties saw voters
GERASSIMOS MOSCHONAS, POLITICAL ANALYST: (TRANSLATION): This was a
punishment vote for the two leading parties. There was a strengthening
of the vote for the smaller parties. On the one hand, the parties of
the left, including the communists. And on the other hand, the extreme
In a shift away from Greece's 2-party politics, five parties
will now be represented in parliament, with the far right winning seats
for the first time in nearly 30 years. This was election day in the
villages of the Peloponnese, blackened by last month's fires. Polling
booths were set up alongside the pre-fabricated houses provided by the
government. The local priest said he hoped whoever won the election
would not forget the people there who are still facing difficulties.
Drifting Aimlessly through Paradise