If France turns out to be a headache…
…then Greece could be a migraine.
Greek conservatives won at the polls Sunday in a national election but fell far short of enough seats to take power, deadlocking parliament and deepening unease over the country’s economic future and its continued membership in the Eurozone.
With 30% of the votes counted, Antonis Samaras and his center-right New Democracy party had 20.3% of the vote, far from the support needed to secure an outright majority in Greece’s 300-seat parliament. The Socialists took a brutal beating, with support for their new leader and former Greek finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos, plummeting to 14.1%, down a shocking 30 percentage points from the party’s landslide victory in 2009.
Anger over punishing austerity cuts pushed voters to a number of protest parties, including the hard-left Syriza party, which unseated scores of Socialist and conservative backbenchers, and the far-right Golden Dawn party, whose anti-immigrant stand and thuggish tactics have sparked widespread concern.
The messy electoral result could take weeks to untangle, at a time when Europe’s debt crisis threatens to flare up again.
At least for now, the success of Golden Dawn has attracted white-hot attention. Reuters takes a look at the party’s program.
Greece’s extreme-right Golden Dawn party savored unprecedented success in Sunday’s general election by promising to rid Greece of illegal immigrants, branding journalists “liars” and warning all “traitors” to run scared.
Little more than an obscure fringe group barely a year ago, the party is set to blow past estimates and enter parliament for the first time with as much as 8 percent of the vote.
The elections in Greece were overshadowed by the French presidential election, which was won by Francois Hollande. However, the success of Mr. Hollande was expected, so the policies he is expected to pursue already have been dissected. No such examination was possible about the Greek elections because they was no sense as to how they were going to turn out.
Now we know — and it’s messier than imagined. There is an expectation that the world’s financial markets will recoil as a result.