EP vote: Greece; Syriza wins but fails to triumph, ND stands

Samaras claims voters rejected radical changes

26 May, 13:58

    (by Demetrio Manolitsakis) (ANSAmed) - ATHENS, MAY 26 - The top place won by Syriza, the good result registered by Elia (Olive) against all forecasts, the disappearance of the Democratic Left (Dimar, a political force which for a number of months was part of the government coalition together with Nea Dimokratia and Pasok), the positive result posted by the new To Potami (River) - in just 88 days, as stressed by its leader Stavros Theodorakis - and finally the third place gained by neo-Nazi party Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) are the first results coming out by Sunday's European vote in Greece.

    However, radical left party Syriza, in spite of the referendum-like nature that its leader Alexis Tsipras, the European left candidate for EU president, tried to give to European and local elections, did not obtain a result which could justify a radical change of the political situation with potential early elections. Syriza's victory is due to the loss by some 7% of the vote for Nea Dimokratia compared to political elections in June 2012 while Syriza lost a small part of its electorate compared to two years ago (26.89% of the vote in national elections in 2012, 26.42% in Sunday's European vote).

    Premier Antonis Samaras and his government partner, Socialist leader Evanghelos Venizelos, said the stability of the coalition is not in danger and early elections are not part of his plans.

    According to Samaras, Greek voters sent a message to the government while at the same time refusing the radical change demanded by Syriza. ''The attempt of those looking for political uncertainty, uncertainty and government instability has failed'', said the premier. ''The government remains a guarantee of stability and normality in the country''.

    Venizelos for his part stressed that his party stood its ground and that people rejected Syriza's ''blackmail''.

    ''Politics based on polarization banking on lies, vulgarity and blackmail are not over'', said Venizelos. ''Someone sought to provoke a political crisis at a time when Greece is about to exit the economic crisis, he added, listing his next steps: updating an agreement on the program with Nea Dimokratia, widening parliament's support for the government, requesting the intervention of President Karolos Paoulias for national agreement and calling a new congress of Pasok for October.

    For his part, Alexis Tsipras, talking to reporters, re-discussed his demand to call early elections questioning the ''political legitimacy with which the current government will deal with the public debt issue. Respect towards democracy calls for elections as soon as possible so that political normality is restored''. (ANSAmed)
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