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Greece - Elections 2012

Election - 06 May 2012
ND (pro-IMF/German Diktat) 18.92 % 108 seats
Syriza (anti-IMF/German Diktat) 16.75 % 52 seats
PASOK (pro-IMF/German Diktat) 13.22 % 41 seats
AE (anti-IMF/German Diktat) 10.58 % 33 seats
KKE (anti-IMF/German Diktat) 8.47 % 26 seats
XA (anti-IMF/German Diktat) 6.97 % 21 seats
DA (anti-IMF/German Diktat) 6.09 % 19 seats
The election on 06 May 2012, gave no conclusive outcome. A majority of voters supported parties that oppose tough austerity measures in Greece. The measures are key to a bailout deal, funded by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, aimed at preventing Greece from defaulting on its debts. The conservative New Democracy party won about 19 percent of the votes -- far short of being able to form a government on its own and sharply down from the 2009 election. The Socialist PASOK party won 13 percent, while the leftist Syriza won 16 percent. More than 10 smaller parties that opposed the austerity plans were projected to win seats in parliament, running on platforms opposing the austerity measures.

Compared to the 2009 elections, the ruling PASOK party fell from 43.9% to 13.2%, ND which is now the strongest party, won 18.9% (2009: 33.5%). On the other hand SYRIZA (“Coalition of the Radical Left”) rose from 4.6 to 16.8% and has thus become the second largest party. The “Independent Greeks” led by P. Kammenos, a right-wing nationalist split from ND and founded in February 2012, a party that refuses to support the memoranda policies, are in the fourth place with 10.6%. The CPG (KKE), up to now the strongest left party, received 8.5% (2009: 7.5%). Chrysi Avgi (“Golden Dawn”), a gang of neo-Nazi Hitler nostalgia addicts gained 7.0% (441 000 votes, 2009: 0.3%), certainly the real “scoop“ of these elections. The “Democratic Left” (DIMAR) was in the seventh place with 6.1%.

The far-right LAOS failed with 2.9% (2009: 5.6%) due to the 3% threshold. The same happened to the “Green Ecologists” with 2.9% (2009: 2.5%) and three right-neoliberal formations , namely “Democratic Alliance” (DISI) with 2.6%, “Dimourgia xana“ with 2.2% and “Action” (Drasi) with 1.8%. ANTARSYA (“Anti-Capitalist Left Alliance for the Overthrow”), essentially a coalition of some 10 anti-capitalist revolutionary organizations, received 1.2% (over 75,000 votes; 2009: 0.36%), the alliance of two ML organizations 0.3 %, EEK, an organization that calls itself Trotskyite 0.1%.

After the inconclusive election, the top three parties -- the conservative New Democracy, the radical left Syriza, and the socialist PASOK -- were each given a chance to form a coalition. But none of the parties garnered enough support to put together a new government, prompting a repeat election.

Election - 17 June 2012
New DemocracyAntonis Samaras129 29.66%
SYRIZAAlexis Tsirpas71 26.89%
PASOK Evangelos Venizelos 33 12.28%
Independent GreeksPanos kamenos20 7.51%
Golden DawnNikolaos Michaloliakos 18 6.92%
Democratic LeftFotis Kouvelis 17 6.26%
KKEAleka Papariga 12 4.50%
Greek voters cast ballots on 17 June 2012 in the second parliamentary election in six weeks. Observers worldwide were watching the poll which was seen as a referendum on the euro currency. Leftist leader Alexis Tsirpas wanted to repeal the austerity measures imposed by Greece's partners in the eurozone. The move could force the country out of the common currency zone. In a matter of months, Alexis Tsipras had gone from relative obscurity to leading many of the recent polls. He said the terms of Greece’s bailout are too painful for his country. His opponent, Antonis Samaras of the New Democracy party, upholds Greek bailout commitments, but wants to ease the austerity measures.

The conservative New Democracy party won 30 percent of the vote to take 129 of the 300 seats in parliament, including the 50-seat bonus given to the party with the most votes. The radical leftist, anti-bailout Syriza party came in second with 71 seats, while the pro-bailout PASOK Socialists won 33 seats. The radical left wing coalition, Syriza, saw its share of the vote increase by almost five times compared to where it was three years ago. But it fell short of overtaking -- and refuses to work with -- the center right New Democracy party, which had the mandate to try to form a government. Pasok was set to take 12.3 per cent of the vote and 33 seats, and Democratic Left was set to win 6.2 per cent and 17 seats. With a combined total of 178 seats, a three-way, New Democracy- led coalition would have a comfortable parliamentary majority, but it would be an uneasy formation comprised of politicians with little experience of working together.

Ending weeks of political limbo, Antonis Samaras, the leader of Greece's New Democracy party was sworn in 20 June 2012 as prime minister after agreeing to form a coalition government with the Socialists and a smaller left-wing party, the Democratic Left. After winning the 17 June 2012 election, the president gave the New Democracy party three days to form a government. There were concerns that a resolution had to be found quickly to reassure markets that Greece was back in business after the second election in a matter of six weeks.

Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos called for a "government of national responsibility" that would be stable enough to make the hard choices that lie ahead. "There must be a government tomorrow, a government capable of securing the operation of the state, the economy, and society. A government capable of carrying out with success the second phase of negotiations with our European partners within the framework of European procedures and of leading the country to a better, not a worse, state," he said.

Syriza leader Tsipras, however, rejected the call and said his party will remain in opposition and continue to oppose the austerity measures negotiated as part of a 130 billion euro bailout package earlier this year. "As of Monday we will continue our battle having the confidence that the future does not belong to the terrorized but to the bearers of hope," Tsipras said. "A new day for Greece has already dawned."

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras ruled out on 28 September 2013 the prospect of snap general elections amidst an unprecedented clampdown on Greek far-Right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi / Chryssi Avghi) party two weeks after the fatal stabbing of Leftist activist Pavlos Fyssas on September 18 at Piraeus by a party supporter. His death was followed by a round of anti-fascist protests and strong reactions by political leaders and Greek society. Golden Dawn's popularity plummeted immediately after the incident. The arrest of Golden Dawn party chief Nikos Michaloliakos, five party legislators and a dozen of other party members on charges of setting up a criminal gang raised questions in Athens whether the country could be led to polls. This was the first time since the restoration of democracy in Greece in 1974 after a seven-year military rule that a political party's leadership was detained.

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Page last modified: 09-09-2018 18:47:11 ZULU