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Greek Election Results Show Solid Victory for Papandreou


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Election results from Greece show socialist leader George Papandreou has solidly defeated conservative Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

With nearly all of the votes counted Monday, Mr. Papandreou's Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) has about a 10 - percentage point lead over Prime Minister Karamanlis' New Democracy Party. The results from Sunday's election should give PASOK 160 seats in the 300-member Greek parliament.

Mr. Papandreou, 57, is the U.S.-born son and grandson of former prime ministers of Greece.

He has promised a $4.4 billion stimulus package to revive the national economy. However, he told supporters Sunday "Nothing is going to be easy." He added that economic recovery will take "hard work."

Prime Minister Karamanlis conceded defeat and resigned as head of his party when early results showed the opposition socialists had a significant lead.

He had called the early election halfway through his term, saying Greece needed a government with a clear mandate to deal with its economic woes.

The ruling party had been stung by corruption scandals and voter discontent with the economy.

Conservatives once loyal to Mr. Karamanlis also criticized the government's handling of riots late last year, triggered by the fatal police shooting of an Athens teenager.

U.S. President Barack Obama called Mr. Papandreou Sunday to congratulate him on his victory. Mr. Obama said he looks forward to working with the new Greek leader. The president also sent well-wishes to all Greeks who participated in the vote.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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