ND 29.66% and 129 seats, SYRIZA 26,89% and 71 seats, PASOK 12.28% and 33 seats, Independent Greeks 7.51 and 20 seats, pro-Nazi Golden Dawn 6.92 and 18 seats, Democratic Left 6.25 and 17 seats and the Communist Party 4.50 and 12 seats.
Athens.- Right wing Pro-memorandum New Democracy party as won a relative majority in parliament, and the race is on to form a coalition government that can secure Greece’s place in the eurozone and reverse the negative climate hearting financially the country. Sunday’s result was received positively by both EU partners, the United States and the IMF. In their messages the express their expectation to see a stable government formed to move on with the reforms and keep Greece in the Eurozone.
With 99,83% of the vote counted, ND receives 29.66% and 129 seats, SYRIZA 26,89% and 71 seats, PASOK 12.28% and 33 seats, Independent Greeks 7.51 and 20 seats, pro-Nazi Golden Dawn 6.92 and 18 seats, Democratic Left 6.25 and 17 seats and the Communist Party 4.50 and 12 seats. Other parties received less than 6%. The percentage of abstention in the June 17 election reached 39 percent, exceeding the 34.90-percent figure of May 6 and 32 percent of the October 2009 election.
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras and PASOK president Evangelos Venizelos called ND leader Antonis Samaras to congratulate him and concede defeat.
“There he is, there he is – the prime minister” chanted party supporters as Samaras arrived at Zapeion Hall to make a victory statement, shortly after 10pm.
Samaras said that he will respect the signature and commitments of the country and he called for a broad-based, “national salvation government”.
“The Greek people voted for the country’s European course and for us to remain in the euro,” he declared on national television.
He called on all political forces that share those aims to participate in a national unity government. That could include, aside from Pasok and Democratic Left, the anti-memorandum Independent Greeks, led by Panos Kammenos.
Samaras is expected to attempt to form a broad-based coalition, for which socialist Pasok and Fotis Kouvelis’ Democratic Left are prime candidates.
Syriza will not be in that coalition. In his nationally televised statement, Tsipras said his party is the core of the popular, anti-memorandum majority.
In an effort to foreshadow possible changes to the bailout, Samaras said that he wants “to add to our commitments the necessary policies for growth and to combat unemployment”.
Samaras has pledged to attempt to renegotiate several points in the bailout memorandum, including an extension of the fiscal adjustment period. That type of renegotiation is at the core of the Pasok and Democratic Left programmes.
The result in the crucial repeat election will have far-reaching consequences on Greece’s eurozone membership and on the stability of the common currency. Nearly 200 foreign correspondents from Brussels to Beijing were accredited to cover the elections.
The Greek electorate was subjected to unprecedented pressure tactics by the German and European political establishment in the run up to the elections. German officials repeatedly declared that careful implementation of the bailout deal is the necessary condition for continued loans.
In the German media, both Financial Times Deutschland and Bild ran editorials advising Greeks to vote down Syriza and to choose New Democracy.
The rise in New Democracy’s numbers came after party leader Antonis Samaras called for a centre-left front to defeat Syriza, on the grounds that the left wing party would lead Greece out of the euro. That severely compressed the polling numbers of Independent Greeks, an ND splinter party.
In the Syriza camp, cadres attribute the party’s rise since the May 6 elections to a strong social current that is in favour of a radical overhaul of the austerity policies of the bailout memorandum.
New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras proposed a ‘national salvation’ government during his statements in Zappion on Sunday night, after a first estimate of the final election results made it clear that his party had come first in Greece’s elections.
“There will be no further adventures,” Samaras stressed, adding “we will honour the country’s commitments”.
“The Greek people voted for the European course and for us to remain in the euro. They voted for the policies that will bring jobs, growth and justice for the Greek citizen,” Samaras stressed, inviting all forces that agree with these goals to participate in a government of ‘national salvation’.
“Greece must be governed and will be governed,” he underlined, noting that Greece’s position in Europe would not be cast into doubt. “It is an important moment for Greece and for Europe,” he added.
Samaras emphasised that the government must bring about growth, while noting that it will respect and honour the country’s commitments and signatures, and ensure that the state had “continuity and consistency”.
“The citizens honoured us with their vote. I want to thank the Greek people. We told the people the truth and they listened. I promise I will fully honour the faith the Greeks have placed in us, that we will work with our European partners in order to complement our economic policy with growth and tackle unemployment. Our aim is to emerge from the crisis with social cohesion, with jobs, with justice and security. We will keep to what we said, Greece must be governed and will be governed. ND was and is a force for responsibility,” he said.
Addressing his supporters at a campaign centre in central Athens, accompanied by veteran politician Manolis Glezos, Radical Leftist Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras predicted that the party will soon be in power and outlined his general tactics while in the opposition.
He said the party’s success had opened new “roads of hope” for all the people in Europe and especially southern Europe.
“Some people think that they won these elections but, it was the people that won because they cannot go ahead with the Memorandums and this is a huge gain. The countries of the south are grateful to the Greek people for this,” he added.
SYRIZA’s leader said there were mixed feelings after coming so close to victory but not quite prevailing but stressed that the result had put the party on a road from which there was no return and those who thought it could be marginalised would be proved wrong.
“From tomorrow we will continue the battle that only Manolis (Glezos) has known with EDA and he will soon have the joy of seeing the left in power as well,” Tsipras said.
At the same time, he said that SYRIZA would reform with the aim of uniting Greeks in order for the country to win back its sovereignty and social justice.
“We will fight and we will make it,” he concluded.
“A new day has dawned for Greece,” said Radical Leftist Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras on Sunday night, after a clear picture of the final result had emerged and showed that left-wing SYRIZA’s percentage had soared relative to May, consolidating its position as Greece’s second-largest political force. He promised a tough opposition to the government that would arise and stressed that events would vindicate his party.
Tsipras noted that SYRIZA had undertaken a “difficult and exciting journey to defend the pride and dignity of the Greek people, put an end to the Memorandum and restore hope”. He noted that the party had struggled against an unprecedented attack of extortion and terror, what he called an “unholy alliance of the forces of yesterday” that had done its utmost to extinguish the people’s desire for justice and dignity, both within and outside of Greece.
Tsipras said he was proud of the way his party had withstood these attacks and multiplied its percentage in the last 1.5 months. He noted that, even though it had failed to get first place, it was now the main body of a popular, progressive anti-bailout majority of the people.
SYRIZA’s leader said that he had communicated with New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras and congratulated him on his party’s victory, adding that ND was able to form a government based on the popular mandate and on its own policy choices.
He said that SYRIZA would be ‘present’ at developments as main opposition and would not ‘give up’ to anyone the possibility of intervention in developments. He stressed, also, that the austerity measures and the selling off of public wealth could not proceed because the government lacked popular legitimacy.
“The Memorandum is a non-viable economic plan and its rejection is a popular mandate,” he emphasised.
He noted that the government that would be formed would have to take into account that on major issues, nothing could go ahead without the people and underlined that this policy would be vindicated by developments.
“Our proposal for the overthrow of the Memorandum is the only viable solution for Greece and Europe,” he underlined, stressing that SYRIZA would continue the battle on Monday with the conviction that the future did not belong to the ‘terrified’ by those that brought hope.
In statements after the election result emerged on Sunday, PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos repeated the need for a ‘co-responsibility’ government that will include both the Radical Leftist Coalition (SYRIZA) and the Democratic Left (Dem. Ar) parties, in addition to PASOK and New Democracy.
He also stressed the need to accelerate the process for forming a coalition government, saying that Greece have a government on Monday. He proposed that the party leaders eligible to receive an exploratory mandate to form a government should ask President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias to bypass the exploratory mandate phase for the top three parties and go directly to the second phase, the meeting of political party leaders.
He underlined that the government formed should also include SYRIZA and Dem. Ar because otherwise no serious decision or agreement could be planned and implemented “without national rallying and with some people waiting around the corner as the opposition”.
Venizelos stressed that all the parties should shoulder their responsibilities and that PASOK was taking charge of its own while “being fully aware of its guaranteeing role”.
PASOK’s leader insisted that the formation of a government of co-responsibility was the “only responsible stance” and that this was not only confirmed but made imperative.
Regarding its own low percentage, he said the party had nevertheless succeeded in withstanding the strong election pressure, both numerically and politically.
“Before the elections, we said the absolute truth about the state of the country, which was made worse due to the extended period without government,” he added, stressing that the country did not have a day to lose nor the margins to play political games.
“If we want Greece to stay in the euro, we must tomorrow have a government capable of successfully carrying out the second phase of the negotiation that will lead the country to a better place,” he underlined.
In later statements, meanwhile, PASOK press spokesman Fofi Gennimata left open the possibility that PASOK might participate in a government that did not include SYRIZA on condition that it agreed with the general negotiating framework.
She stressed that all sides must be prepared to compromise, otherwise the negotiating efforts of the new government would be compromised from the start.
Explaining her statement, she noted that Venizelos had spoken of a “governance of national co-responsibility” and differentiated this from the formation of a national cooperation government.
“All of us are responsible, primarily, to not be led to new elections, to not be led to division, but for there to be the greatest possible social support for the government that will be formed,” Gennimata added.
Independent Greeks party leader Panos Kammenos on Sunday night said that whatever his party said before the June 17 election, namely, opposition to Memorandums and the country’s bailout contracts, “also stands after the elections”.
“Everything stands in relation to what we have said,” Kammenos said in comments on the elections results.
He also thanked voters that supported his party “amid a climate of polarisation”, as he said.
The general secretary of the ultra-nationalist Chryssi Avgi (Golden Dawn) party, Nikos Mihaloliakos, was the first political party leader who commented on the results of the exit polls of the June 17, which show his party easily re-entering Parliament.
Mihaloliakos predicted that his party will come in fourth, while adding: “I would like to thank those that did not ‘correct’ their vote, and remained at the side of Chryssi Avgi.”
He also stressed that his party, described by detractors as everything from unabashedly fascist to even neo-nazi, “did not retreat in the face of danger-mongering and terrorizing, increasing its absolute number of votes … We are the party of national opposition; we will continue, responsibly, to struggle in order for the devastating, for the nation, Memorandum to be abolished.”
Mihaloliakos also turned his criticism against the media, repeating: “Ladies and gentlemen, you lost; both you and the interests which you serve. There is now a nationalist party with deep roots (in the country), one which will give the battle for a free and strong Greece.”
In his first statements after the announcement of a firm estimate of the election result, Democratic Left (Dem. Ar) leader Fotis Kouvelis called for the formation of a stable government with a progressive programme and reliable members. He stressed that the people had chosen to remain in the euro while freeing themselves of the unfavourable terms of the bailout agreements through negotiations.
“The Democratic Left, with these positions and without a carte blanche to anyone, will attend the constitutional processes of the exploratory mandates. It will work with responsibility and consistency for the unity of our people during these crucial times for the nation,” he stressed.
He said Greek men and women, through their vote, had given clear instructions for a government of cooperation and for this reason had not given any of the parties a clear majority.
“You have not given a mandate for unilateral actions that would put in jeopardy the country remaining in robustness and the EU. No party agenda can or should obscure the Greek people’s demand for a government of broad cooperation and social support,” he added.
Communist Party (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga on Sunday evening called the result of the June 17 election in the country “a negative one, as regards the people who have suffered greatly from the economic crisis and the measures that followed.”
Commenting on results, Papariga also noted that the people “will face serious problems and whatever government will be formed, it will fail to meet the people’s expectations.”
The KKE leader also added that her party “preferred telling the people the truth regarding the character of the crisis, the possibility of a crisis in the eurozone, the nature of the European Union and the need for disengagement, along with a unilateral debt write-off and the struggle for workers’ and popular power.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras for his victory in Sunday’s general elections. According to an announcement issued by the Chancellery on Sunday night, Merkel telephoned Samaras to congratulate him on his party’s good results in the elections. During their telephone conversation, the German chancellor expressed her conviction that Greece will respect its European obligations.
A statement was also issued by German finance minister Wolfgang Schaueble, who said the result of the Greek vote was a “vote in favour of reforms”.
“The programme that we worked on together with Greece has only one goal, to lead Greece back to the path of economic prosperity and stability. This road is neither quick nor easy but it is unavoidable,” the statement said.
The White House on Sunday congratulated Greece on conducting its election “in difficult times” and expressed hope that a government will be formed quickly that will make “timely progress on the economic challenges facing the Greek people”.
“As President Obama and other world leaders have said, we believe that it is in all our interests for Greece to remain in the euro area while respecting its commitment to reform,” said White House press secretary Jay Carney.
A laconic statement by the International Monetary Fund merely stated that “we take note of the election results in Greece and stand ready to engage with the new government on the way forward to help Greece achieve its objective of restoring financial stability, economic growth and jobs.”
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on Sunday issued a joint statement on the result of the elections in Greece, expressing hope that a government would soon be formed.
They stressed that they “continue to stand by Greece as a member of the EU family and of the Euro area”.
“The Greek people have spoken. We fully respect its democratic choice. We are hopeful that the election results will allow a government to be formed quickly,” the statement read.
“Today, we salute the courage and resilience of the Greek citizens, fully aware of the sacrifices which are demanded from them to redress the Greek economy and build new, sustainable growth for the country,” they added and indicated their readiness to work with the new government and support the continued efforts of Greece to put its economy on a sustainable path.
They noted that the second economic adjustment programme agreed between Greece and the Eurogroup was “the basis upon which to build to foster growth, prosperity and jobs for the Greek people” and promised to continue assisting Greece in achieving these goals.
POLITICAL LEADERS VOTE
President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias expressed on Sunday his hope that the vote of the Greek people will allow the formation of a stable government that will immediately take care to solve the problems that torment the Greek people. Papoulias voted in Ioannina, northwestern Greece.
Caretaker Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos voted on Sunday at the Athens district of Kifissia. In statements he expressed his sorrow and support to the firemen and the other compatriots who were injured in Saturday’s wildfires. “The reasons of the repetitive fire incidents every summer are specific; however this is not the day to deal with this issue. I ask from all my compatriots to follow the Fire Brigade’s orders. It is a critical day, it is very windy,” he said.
Referring to the elections, Pikrammenos said that according to his information the elections procedure is going smoothly.
New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras, accompanied by his wife Georgia, voted on Sunday in Pylos, southern Greece. In a terse statement Samaras stressed that “today the Greek people speak, tomorrow a new era begins for Greece”.
Samaras, immediately after voting, left for Athens.
SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras expressed his optimism for the elections result after casting his vote on Sunday at an election precinct in the Athens district of Kypseli.
Tsipras said that today that “we beat the fear and we are opening the way to dignity, to hope and to a better day with the people united and proud, for a Greece with social justice and prosperity and an equal member of a Europe that is changing. The future belongs to the bearers of hope, we will win,” said Tsipras.
PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos voted on Sunday in Thessaloniki and stated that only a government of national co-responsibility can take the country out of the crisis. “The Greek people can and must safeguard the society’s cohesion and the nation’s unity. Tomorrow the country must have a government,” he said.
Independent Greeks party leader Panos Kammenos after voting on Sunday in Alexandroupolis, northeastern Greece, stated: “From Evros prefecture in Thrace on the border with Turkey, the Independent Greeks send a message to Greece and Europe. Fear is what makes you win a battle. Hope is what makes you win a war,” said Kammenos.
“Today, we Greeks are Europe’s hope against the new world order. We are the hope, to prove that principles are much stronger than the bankers and the loansharks,” he said, adding: “The peoples of Europe and the European Union are putting their hope in us. We must stand by them in the way Greeks do. Yesterday, the Greek national soccer team proved that to remain in the EURO what is needed is confidence, unity, determination and struggle, and not fear and defeatism. That’s the way you remain in the ‘Euro’.”
Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga on Sunday denounced a fake KKE account on the Google social network “twitter”, which urges KKE voters to cast their ballot for SYRIZA.
Papariga said that the KKE has repeatedly made many charges against the fake account, and has asked for the intervention of the police electronic crimes squad and from the American authorities, given that Google is US-based.
She warned that, on Saturday night, a text was uploaded on the fake account that was supposedly a decision of the KKE central committee calling on the party’s members, friends and voters “to vote for another party, SYRIZA”.
Papariga, after casting her vote in the Athens working-class district of Peristeri, said that charges against the site — which belongs neither to the KKE nor its central committee — have been launched in Greece and the US, including a request that the site be taken down, adding that various accounts appearing to belong to her personally, but are not hers or the KKE’s, also exist on the social networks– mainly twitter and facebook.
Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis voted on Sunday in Peristeri. In statements after casting his vote, Kouvelis said that “the Greeks are voting today with hope, without fear, with will and demand for the country to move forward”.