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Greece: Greek governing parties lose parliamentary majority


Greece's two main pro-bailout parties have failed to win a combined majority in parliament after dramatic election losses. The Socialist PASOK party and New Democracy conservatives accummulated just 32.4 percent.

After severe election losses, Greece's coalition parties have lost their combined majority in parliament, official figures released Monday revealed.

With 95 percent of the vote counted the Socialist PASOK party and the conservatives of New Democracy (ND) amassed just 32.4 percent between them in Sunday's election, plummeting from 77.4 percent in 2009.

The conservatives led by Antonis Samaras and the Socialists led by former Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos had jointly ruled in an uneasy coalition since last November.

It appears that they are now being punished by the Greek electorate in anger at their implementation of harsh austerity measures aimed at tackling the Hellenic debt crisis.

Greece had been forced to introduce severe budgetary cuts in exchange for two international bailouts worth 240 billion euros ($314 billion) from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank

The nation faces demands to put in place even more austerity measures next month if it is to prevent a default and a potentially disastrous exit from the euro.

Markets plummet

Asian markets reacted with alarm in early trading on Monday to the election results in both Greece and France - where Socialist Francois Hollande has been elected president.

In Japan the euro hit a more than three-month low, with the single currency changing hands at 1.2973 euro in morning trade, down from 1.3082 euro on Friday in New York.

ccp/ipj (AFP, AP, Reuters),,15933126,00.html

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