News / Europe

Greek Parties Attempt to Form Government

Leader of the New Democracy conservative party Antonis Samaras leaves an elections kiosk after speaking to his supporters at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, June 17, 2012.
Leader of the New Democracy conservative party Antonis Samaras leaves an elections kiosk after speaking to his supporters at Syntagma square in Athens, Sunday, June 17, 2012.
Dominic Laurie
ATHENS - The Greek president has given the party which won Sunday’s election three days to form a new government. World leaders have welcomed the victory of the pro-bailout New Democracy party and urged Athens to act swiftly in forming a new government which will 'take ownership' of the tough austerity measures attached to the nation's huge bailout deal.

Stock markets around the world were mixed on Monday reflecting uncertainty after Sunday’s election in which pro-bailout parties won enough seats to form a coalition government but it remains unclear how long that will take.  

The 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 centre right new Democracy party, which will now have the mandate to try to form a government.

New Democracy’s leader, Antonis Samaras, says the way forward will be difficult.

He says he "wants all Greeks to know that he’s committed to work with dedication and consistency in order to embark on a difficult path.” Once they get to the top of the hill, he adds, "a solution will emerge, a hopeful solution."

He also says he will try to secure more time for Greece to cut its borrowing to levels approved of by the EU and the IMF.   However, some Greeks are skeptical things will get better. Evi Malliarou lost her job as an events organizer last fall and has been unemployed since. She has voted for anti-austerity parties in the past, yet this time she says she could not be bothered to vote because nothing will change.

“It’s going to be the same, I mean, the results are a little bit different but basically we have exactly the same thing as before.  It makes me feel frustrated, because you can’t just go on and on and on having elections, these people have to form a government, they have to make sure the state functions for the benefit of all people,” Malliarou said.

Greek election results, June 2012
Greek election results, June 2012

Many areas of the state have stopped delivering services to Greeks in the manner to which they were accustomed. Education is one of those areas. Timoleon Alevizakis is a high school teacher in Athens. He says his pupils are suffering.

“What I am getting is a lot of stress, frustration, there have been incidents of students fainting, either from too much stress or in some cases we are speculating, malnutrition...there have been definite cases of children, students fainting in working class areas of western Athens for example. We had cases of panic attacks, on the part of students, the whole situation is definitely affecting the children,” Alevizakis said.

New Democracy may have won more seats than any other party, but it needs to secure the support of two other left wing parties to form a government. Ideologically, the three parties are not close. World leaders may have to wait days, not hours, for a new administration to take shape.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Guess from: VA
June 18, 2012 2:19 PM
There are times when the world went into war. God save the world, from UEFA 2012 England-Germany final. Instead, I embraced Greece because soccer proved that it is orthodox. I love Russia. The G-8/G-20 catalyst could not bring it in, us. If God did not bless the line between Portugal and Germany, it could be a disaster.

In Response

by: Anonymous from: USA
June 19, 2012 8:33 AM
It sounds like Greece wants to destroy the Euro. Fight back and take vacation elsewhere.


by: Kevin Lawson from: Winterhausen
June 18, 2012 2:00 PM
"New Democracy...needs to secure the support of two other left wing parties to form a government." New Democracy is not left wing.

In Response

by: Anonymous
June 19, 2012 8:26 AM
Boycott Greece......go to hawaii instead.,

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid