- In Greece, the ruling conservative party Nea Demokratia won the parliamentary elections.
- Even Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ party has grown significantly compared to the elections four years ago.
- The Ministry of the Interior witnessed the party in the evening after half of the votes were counted by about 41 percent (2019: 39.9 percent).
The left-wing Syriza party of former prime minister Alexis Tsipras has had to accept heavy losses: although it remained the strongest opposition party by around 20 percent, it lost more than ten percentage points.
The third strongest force was the Social Democratic PASOK with around 12 percent (2019: 8.1 percent). The Communists also managed to jump over the three percent barrier with 6.8 percent and the right-wing populist Iliniki Lysi with 4.5 percent. The left-wing Mira 25 party led by former Finance Minister Giannis Varoufakis had to falter at 2.4 per cent and the ultra-conservative Niki at 2.9 per cent.
Many challenges await the new government. “The main concern of the Greeks is definitely inflation,” said Wasiliki Goutziomitros, SRF correspondent in Athens. “Economically speaking, the country has recovered quite well in recent years, but that doesn’t really go down in one’s wallet. Food prices in particular are above average. The minimum wage has been raised to almost 800 euros, but a lot of this Eroded by inflation.GDP is recovering very well, but still at a very low level.Relations with Turkey, which have been somewhat better lately, are certainly high on the international political agenda, as are EU external border protection – migration the basic “.
Despite the progress, the formation of a New Democracy government is not guaranteed. So far, the strongest party has automatically gained 50 seats in parliament, which is what usually leads to one-man governments. The ND party has also ruled alone for the past four years.
Tough search for coalition partners – or new elections right away?
Mitsotakis does not have much choice among alliance partners. An alliance with Syriza is out of the question – not least because Tsipras designed his election campaign as an anti-New Democracy platform and criticized the prime minister. It is unlikely to ally itself with left- and right-wing populists — perhaps not enough in numbers, either. Only Social Democrats can be considered partners. However, their president, Nikos Androulakis, has so far ruled out forming a coalition.
Perhaps Mitsotakis is not even looking for a partner in the European Union and NATO country of about 10.5 million people, but is instead counting on fresh elections. “The election result is a clear mandate from the people for Mitsotakis to continue ruling alone,” Interior Minister Makis Foridis said on Sky TV.
In any case, Mitsotakis has always emphasized during the election campaign that he wants to rule alone again. It would be funny if he suddenly said ‘yes’ to coalition negotiations.”
This bonus has been canceled by a change in voting rights. Simple proportional representation now applies. Because none of the parties has achieved an absolute majority, coalitions must be sought. However, in Greece, alliances are traditionally rare and usually not very successful. If a government is not formed within ten days, new elections must be held in July.
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