Athens: Latest projections show Greece's conservative New Democracy party will narrowly finish first in the Parliamentary Elections that are crucial not just for the country but for Europe and the entire ‘globalized’ world.
Although no party seemed to have won majority in Sunday's election to form a new Greek government on its own, official projections show the country's two traditional parties — New Democracy and PASOK — will win enough seats to form a coalition together.
With 40% of votes counted, the projections put New Democracy as winning 30.5 per cent of the vote, giving it 131 seats in the 300-seat Parliament. That's ahead of the radical left Syriza party, which is projected to get 26 per cent of the vote or 69 seats.
The Socialist PASOK party was projected in third with 34 seats or 12.9 per cent vote.
Because of a 50-seat bonus given to the party which comes in first, that result would give New Democracy and PASOK a projected 165 seats, in an alliance committed to a 130 billion euro (USD 164 billion) EU/IMF bailout keeping the country from bankruptcy.
New Democracy wants Greece to stay in the eurozone while the Syriza has vowed to pull out of Greece's international bailout commitments.
SYRIZA, led by a 37-year-old former Communist, has vowed to tear up the punishing terms of the deal, potentially sending the country crashing out of Europe's single currency and rocking the euro to its core.
New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras said the election results were a victory for all of Europe. Meanwhile, Greek Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos suggested his PASOK party would join a pro-bailout coalition with the New Democracy conservatives who won Sunday's election, saying Greece needed to have a government as early as Monday.
Earlier polls had put New Democracy and SYRIZA virtually level.
A Greek euro exit has the potential to unleash shocks that could even break up Europe's single currency and plunge the global economy into chaos.
World leaders gathering at a G20 summit starting in Mexico on Monday will be watching with alarm.
Central banks from major economies stand ready to take steps, including coordinated action, to stabilize markets if the election triggers a financial storm or public panic, G20 sources said last week.
Exit polls in an earlier May 6 election, which produced stalemate, gave a good indication of the way the vote had gone.
First Published: Sunday, June 17, 2012, 09:35