In the rerun of the Greek elections anti-bailout Syriza increased its share of the vote from 17 per cent to 27 per cent but that of pro-bailout New Democracy rose from 19 per cent to 28 per cent. Both parties support Greece remaining in the euro, and the result enabled New Democracy to cobble together a shaky coalition with other pro-bailout parties which is now going to try and ameliorate the worst aspects of the bailout deal.
The Greek Communist Party (KKE), which opposes the deal and Greece’s continued membership of the euro and the EU and is also calling for a full Greek default, saw its vote halve to 4 per cent.
The overall turnout at about 62 per cent was even lower than in the May election. In May a record 35 per cent did not vote, the figure reaching almost 60 per cent in some parts of northern Greece.
After the election results were declared German Chancellor Angela Merkel immediately telephoned New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras to congratulate him on his victory. Stock markets did not share her optimism, with bank shares falling across Europe. Nobody believes that Greece’s problems and those of the euro have been solved. ■