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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs