Leftwing Syriza Party Triumphs in European Elections in Greece
Greece's leftwing opposition Syriza party won the country's European elections, official projections showed late Sunday.
According to the preliminary results, Syriza, which opposes Greece's international bailout, won 26 – 30% of the vote, followed by prime minister Antonis Samaras's New Democracy party with 23 – 27%. Far-right Golden Dawn was poised to win around 9% of the vote, compared with around 8% for Elia (Olive Tree), a centre-left alliance lead by Pasok.
Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras, as cited by The Guardian, called for immediate general elections, stressing that the results of the elections had expressed the people's condemnation of the policies of the government, thereby depriving it of any political or moral legitimacy.
"Tomorrow all of Europe will be talking about Syriza," said Tsipras, who is also candidate for EU Commission President of the Party of the European Left.
Commenting on the preliminary results, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in a televised statement that the voters had "sent a message to the government", but had failed to support Syriza's calls for a popular revolt against the government.
The outcome of the European Parliament elections in Greece is unlikely to destabilize the ruling coalition as the the two coalition partners together received a bigger share of the vote than Syriza.
The European Parliament elections coincided with the second round of local elections.
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