Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Greece may repeat vote over parties’ failure to form government

People read newspapers' headlines in Athens on May 7, 2012 as the country may brace for another election in mid-June

Source: Press TV

Greece may face repeat elections following the failure of parties to form a government after the recent general elections.

The repeat general elections would probably take place on June 17, according to a government official.

The conservative New Democracy, whose support for the austerity measures dramatically hurt its popularity, was not strong enough to form a government, securing only about 19 percent of the votes. This is while the party had garnered 33.5 percent of the votes in the previous elections.

Efforts by Antonis Samaras, the leader of New Democracy, to form a coalition government also ended up in failure.

"I did whatever I could to secure a result but it was impossible," Samaras said in a televised address on Tuesday after a day of separate meetings with other leaders.

The socialist Pasok, another pro-austerity party, managed to garner only 13 percent of the Sunday votes, down from 43 percent in the last elections.

Greek voters, angry about the high unemployment rate and severe cuts to pensions and pay, punished the pro-austerity parties, New Democracy and Pasok, for imposing the harsh austerity measures to address the country’ debt crisis.

Greeks have been protesting against the state’s austerity cuts since early 2011, when the government first implemented the measures.

Greece is the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis and in its fifth year of recession. One in five workers is unemployed and banks are in a shaky situation, while pensions and salaries have been slashed by up to 40 percent.

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