Greece vote tempers threat of eurozone departure (+video)
Greece's New Democracy party, which favors meeting European Union bailout demands, won the largest percentage of votes and is preparing to form a coalition.
Market and European officials' fears eased somewhat after a party that favors meeting European Union demands for ongoing bailout money won the most seats in Greek parliamentary elections.
The New Democracy party won 29.4 percent of the vote and seems best positioned to form a new government as the Greek electorate pulled back from the possibility of a eurozone departure and a return to the drachma. Investors have feared a Greek departure from the euro could deepen the economic woes in Spain and Italy and threaten the overall stability of the currency zone.
“There is now breathing space for the Greek political system to form a stable government, but it is hardly the end of the crisis,” says Charalambus Tsardanidis, director of the Institute of International Economic Relations in Athens. “Our situation is unsustainable and the new government will try to meet demands..., but any real outcome requires an overall change in the eurozone approach.”
Center-right New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras is today urgently seeking a stable coalition able to negotiate with the EU. New Democracy, one of the two establishment parties that oversaw Greece's descent into penury over the past decade, will receive an additional 50 seats in parliament for having come in first.