Greece to hold first election since -News

Greeks hold Sunday’s first election since the country’s economy stalled Strictly supervised and controlled by international lenders who provided bailout money during its nearly decade-long financial crisis.

vote conservative Dear Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, 55, former Harvard grad banking exec, against 48 Alexis TsiprasHe led the leftist Syriza party as two of the main contenders and was prime minister during some of the most turbulent years of the financial crisis.

Mitsotakis has repeatedly stressed that he needs a second term to build on what he says he achieved in his first term. He insisted on the same principle when speaking to the media after the vote.

“Today we vote for our future, higher wages, more and better jobs. We vote for a more effective public health system, a fairer society, a stronger country, and it plays its role in Europe.” Important role, borders are protected.”

Unsurprisingly, Tsipras painted a bleak picture of the current government’s record and emphasized the need for change.

“Today is a day of hope. Citizens have the opportunity… to change the course of the country and move away from four difficult years of inequality, injustice, profiteering, job insecurity, auctions, insults from pensioners, youth being targeted. Leave behind an arrogant government that doesn’t feel the need of many,” he said, promising “a new ethos and way of governing.”

rising living cost It’s the question that tops many voters’ minds as they head to voting centers set up in schools across the country.

Dimitris Hondrogiannis, a 54-year-old Athens resident, said: “Instead of improving every year, the situation gets worse, and things are expensive. Every day, things are getting out of hand. Enough to make you afraid to go to the supermarket shopping.”

Hondrogiannis said he hopes for a stable government that will help bring down prices for food and general merchandise. “People are living beyond their means,” he said.

While Mitsotakis has been steadily leading in opinion polls, the newly introduced electoral system of proportional representation makes it unlikely that whoever wins the election will gain enough seats in Greece’s 300-member parliament to be held in the coming weeks. Form a government while seeking a coalition partner.

The winner of Sunday’s election will have three days to negotiate a coalition government with other parties. If it fails, the mandate to form a government is handed over to a second party, and the process repeats; if it fails, the third party also has a chance. But deep divisions between the two main parties and the four smaller parties expected to enter parliament mean a coalition will be difficult to form, raising the possibility of a second election on July 2.

The second election will be held under a new electoral law that makes it easier for the winning party to form a government by awarding the winning party with up to 50 parliamentary seats, on a sliding scale based on the percentage of votes won.

A total of 32 political parties are in the race, although opinion polls show only six parties have a realistic chance of reaching the 3% threshold for parliamentary seats.

Greece’s once-dominant socialist pan-community party is likely to be at the center of any coalition talks.Greek period overtaken by Syriza 2009-2018 Financial Crisis, the party’s support rate has been around 10%. Its leader, Nikos Androulakis, 44, wiretapping scandal Among them, his mobile phone became the target of surveillance.

Pasok is crucial in any coalition deal, but Androulakis’ poor relationship with Mitsotakis, whom he accuses of covering up a wiretapping scandal, means a deal with the conservatives is unlikely. He also has poor relations with Tsipras, accusing him of trying to poach Panhellenic voters.

The far-right Greeks party, founded by an imprisoned former lawmaker involved in neo-Nazi activity, was barred from participation by the Supreme Court. his former party, golden dawnrose to become Greece’s third largest during the financial crisis and is considered the criminal organization.

On the eve of the election, Mitsotakis enjoyed a double-digit lead in the polls, but with railway disaster On February 28, an intercity passenger train accidentally went up, killing 57 people Same rail line as oncoming freight train.

The government has also been hit surveillance scandal Journalists, including Androulakis, and prominent Greek politicians found spyware on their phones.

Tsipras heavily publicized the railway disaster and the wiretapping scandal.

Since taking power in 2019, Mitsotakis has delivered unexpectedly high growth, a sharp fall in unemployment and the country is on the fringes of investment grade in global bond markets for the first time since losing market access in 2010. It started with a financial crisis.

debt International Monetary Fund Paid off early. European governments and the International Monetary Fund injected 280 billion euros ($300 billion) in emergency loans into the Greek economy between 2010 and 2018 to prevent euro zone members from going bust. In return, they demanded punishment for cost-cutting measures and reforms that caused the country’s economy to shrink by a quarter.

A deep recession and years of emergency borrowing have saddled Greece with a huge national debt, which reached 400 billion euros last December, and hit household incomes that may take another decade to recover.

The other three parties likely to gain parliamentary seats are the Hellenic Communist Party (KKE), led by Dimitris Koutsoumbas; Finance Minister Yannis Varoufakis is leading; and the right-wing Elliniki Lysi, or Greek Solution, is led by Kyriakos Velopoulos.

The KKE is a major force in Greek politics, with a steady core of support of around 4.5%-5.5% over the past decade, while Varoufakis’ party has consistently voted at just over the 3% parliamentary threshold. Velopoulos’ party elected 10 lawmakers in 2019 and is expected to re-enter parliament.

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