Greece election: New Democracy in coalition talks
Fresh from its narrow win in Sunday’s re-election, Greece’s centre-right New Democracy was due to begin talks to form a coalition government.
Party leader Antonis Samaras claimed the results showed that the Greek people were committed to staying in the euro. The new poll came about after a failed first election last month which led to weeks of uncertainty.
The ultra-left wing Syriza party achieved second place but remained isolated over its plans to reject the terms of an EU-IMF bailout.
New Democracy’s talks with the third-placed Socialist Pasok party were widely expected to succeed, giving them 162 seats in the 300 seat parliament.
“I believe if the two parties cooperate, they will succeed, as long as they do what they promised.” said one resident of the Greek capital Athens. “Between them there is a middle road. Otherwise we can’t go on like this anymore.”
Another resident said: “The result is great, just great. There couldn’t have been a better outcome. The people should now let politicians do the job they were voted to do.”
The new government will have to get to work quickly as Greece needs to find an additional 11.7 billion euros worth of spending cuts this month to quality for its next EU-IMF loan instalment.