Fresh chaos in Greece as no political party wins enough votes to form a government


Greece was plunged into fresh political chaos last night after no party emerged with enough votes to form a government following yesterday’s election.

The two main parties suffered heavy losses at the ballot box as the electorate punished them for supporting hugely unpopular austerity measures imposed in return for international bailout funds.

The country now faces political uncertainty as the party with the largest share of votes is given three days to form a coalition. If they fail, the task will then be given to the smaller groups.

Volatile future: Supporters of Leader of the Greek conservative party New Democracy Antonis Samaras wave flags during a pre-election speech in Athens

But with deep rifts between the parties and votes scattered among extremists on the left and right, there is a real prospect no coalition will emerge.

This will force the president to call a fresh round of elections and leaving Greece in a state of paralysis – a prospect that will alarm its international creditors.

If a government committed to continuing the austerity measures cannot be formed, then the future of Greece’s euro membership, and the fate of the currency itself, could once again be at stake.

After nearly four decades of dominating the Greek political scene, the conservative New Democracy and socialist Pasok parties, who had supported the cuts, saw their share of the vote slashed.

Instead, in an election dubbed ‘the polls of rage’ by the Greek media, the electorate favoured parties at both ends of the political spectrum that had opposed the tough austerity package dictated by international lenders.

Anti-austerity demonstration: Police react to an exploding petrol bomb during riots in the streets of Athens in February Anti-austerity demonstration: Police react to an exploding petrol bomb during riots in the streets of Athens in February

Exit polls last night indicated Pasok, who in 2009 polled 44 per cent, saw its share of the ballot shrunk to between 13 to 14 per cent.

The largest party to emerge from the polls would be New Democracy according to the polls, with between 19 to 20.5 per cent of the vote, while the Radical Left Coalition, or Syriza, coming in second with between 15.5 to 17 per cent.

Syriza, under the leadership of 38-year Alexis Tsipras, supports Greece’s membership of the European Union, but vehemently opposes the belt-tightening measures imposed by the nation’s EU partners. Instead he demands the austerity package is renegotiated.

The extreme right-wing Golden Dawn is now projected to win enough votes to enter parliament, with between 6 and 8 per cent, well above the necessary 3 per cent threshold.

There will be no honeymoon period for the new government, who will be forced to carry on with the austerity programme imposed by international lenders if they are to receive more funds. Under the current timetable, Greece must find a further €11bn in savings by next month.


One Response

  1. Archie1954 says:

    This kind of egregious situation is exactly why the Greeks should bring back the King. In times of stress the royal family provides the unifying structure that is missing when politicians are involved. Royalty has proven its value in all the other constitutional monarchies in Europe and elsewhere especially when the chips are down. It’s a perfect time for the return of the King.

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