Elections in Greece over the weekend saw both far-right and left-leaning politicians gain seats in parliament, setting up a fight over the country's economic future.
Bailout-reliant Greece faces weeks of financial turmoil after voters angry at crippling income cuts punished mainstream politicians, let a far-right extremist group into Parliament and gave no party enough votes to govern alone.
The one certainty coming out of Sunday's election was that parties backing the draconian international rescue package lost their majority in parliament — raising the chances of a possible Greek exit from the common euro currency.
Official results showed conservative New Democracy came first with 18.85 percent and 108 of Parliament's 300 seats. Party leader Antonis Samaras, who backs Greece's bailout commitments for austerity but has called for some changes to the bailout plan, will launch coalition-forming talks later in the day.
"I understand the rage of the people, but our party will not leave Greece ungoverned," Samaras said after Sunday's vote.
After receiving the mandate to start negotiations from President Karolos Papoulias, Samaras will have three days to strike a coalition deal. But that could prove impossible because even with the support of the only other clearly pro-bailout party elected, Socialist PASOK, New Democracy would fall two seats short of a governing majority.
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