The New Democracy party won a narrow victory in the Greek elections on Sunday. The pro-bailout party’s victory assuaged fears that Greece would choose to reject the euro in favor of a return to the drachma. Presumptive Prime Minister Antonis Samaras called Sunday’s results a “victory for all Europe,” as quoted by Euronews.
Samaras was congratulated on his party’s victory by leaders from the rest of Europe and around the globe. U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel both praised Greece’s decision to stick with its previously-agreed upon bailout arrangements and to put its faith in the euro.
Here are some of the key details to emerge from Sunday’s elections in Greece.
* The New Democracy party captured 29.66 percent of the vote on Sunday, compared to nearest-rival Left Syriza’s 26.89 percent. The formerly dominant Pasok party came in third with 12.28 percent of the vote.
* European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman van Rompuy issued a joint statement shortly after the results were tallied. The two leaders said that they “support the continued efforts of Greece to put its economy on a sustainable path,” as quoted by CNN.
* That result will give the New Democracy party 129 seats in Greece’s 300-seat parliament, which means that the New Democracy will have to join forces with at least one other political party in order to form a coalition government. Such a government could not be formed after the first round of elections that the country held on May 6, prompting this second round of voting on Sunday.
* There are several political parties that are considered likely contenders for Greece’s coalition government, including the Pasok party, the Democratic Left, and Independent Greeks, according to Athens News.
* The leader of the Independent Greeks, Panos Kammenos, has previously said that he would be willing to be part of a coalition government with the New Democracy and the Pasok parties, but with the condition that neither of the parties’ leaders, Antonis Samaras or Evangelos Venizelos, would be part of the newly-formed government.
* Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the Left Syriza, has said that he and his party have no intention of joining any coalition government. Shortly after calling Samaras to congratulate him on his victory, he told supporters that “We assume our responsibilities in the role of the opposition,” and asserted that the outcome of Greece’s two elections proves that the bailout and austerity measures agreed to by the nation’s government “are not viable,” as quoted by Euronews.
Vanessa Evans is a musician, traveler, and freelance writer with an interest in European studies and events.