Sunday, June 17, 2012

Greece Votes Pro-Europe

Complete UPDATE on June 18, 01:00 GMT, IBN:

With 82.5 percent of the vote counted, official results and a predicted distribution of the 300 seats in parliament are as follows:

"Nea Dimukratia" 30 % => 130 seats pro-bailout

"Syriza" 26.6 % => 71 seats radical anti-bailout

"Pasok" 12.5 % => 33 seats pro-bailout

"Golden Dawn" 6.9 % => 18 seats

"Democratic left" 6.1 % => 18 seats pro-bailout

The parties have deeply varying views about how to use the €240 billion ($300 billion) in bailout loans that Greece has been given by international lenders, and the harsh austerity measures that previous Greek governments had to accept to get the funds.

New Democracy (Nea Dimukratia) leader Antonis Samaras cast Sunday's choice as one between keeping the euro and returning to Greece's old currency, the drachma. He has vowed to renegotiate some of the bailout's harsher terms but insists the top priority is for the country to remain in Europe's joint currency.

"The Greek people today voted for Greece to remain on its European path and in the eurozone," Samaras said after his party won. "(Voters chose) policies that will bring jobs, growth, justice and security."

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