Greece’s pro-bailout New Democracy party has narrowly won the country’s parliamentary elections by securing 29.7 percent of the vote, the Interior Ministry says.
The anti-bailout far left Syriza party garnered 26.9 percent of the ballots to come in second in the Sunday elections, the ministry said.
The results showed that New Democracy secured 129 of the parliament seats while Syriza and the socialist Pasok won 71 and 33 seats respectively.
New Democracy leader, Antonis Samaras described his party’s win as a ‘victory for all of Europe.’
“Today the Greek people expressed their will to stay anchored within the euro, remain an integral part of the eurozone and honor the country’s commitments and foster growth. This is a victory for all Europe,” Samaras said. “I call on all parties that share those objectives to form a stable new government.”
Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Syriza, conceded defeat but refused the offer by Samaras to join a national unity government, saying he will remain a powerful anti-austerity voice in the opposition.
“Even if it didn’t manage to take the first place, Syriza is now the most basic body representing the average individual, the progressive and the anti-memorandum portion of our population,” Tsipras said.
New Democracy will now be able to form a majority coalition with its traditional partner, the socialist Pasok. Both parties want to keep Greece in the eurozone.
Greece has been in recession for five years, with the economy having shrunk by 15 percent over the past three years, the longest-running slump in modern times.
The country is seeing bank deposits dwindle, and tax collection remains a problem. It is also unable to devalue its currency and has no industries other than tourism and agriculture exports.