Greeks maul pro-bailout parties - exit polls

ATHENS Sun May 6, 2012 9:53pm IST

A woman walks next to a bus station with an election campaign poster showing Greece's far-right LAOS party leader George Karatzaferis in Athens May 5, 2012. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

A woman walks next to a bus station with an election campaign poster showing Greece's far-right LAOS party leader George Karatzaferis in Athens May 5, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/John Kolesidis

Related Topics

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek voters enraged by economic hardship deserted governing parties in droves in an election on Sunday, according to exit polls that threw doubt on the country's future in the euro zone.

Polls by six different pollsters indicated the only two parties supporting an EU/IMF bailout that is keeping Greece from bankruptcy would likely fall short of enough support to form a stable coalition government.

The exit polls showed conservative New Democracy and Socialist PASOK, who have dominated Greece for decades, reaching a maximum of 37 percent of the vote combined.

In a huge upset, a previously small leftwing party, the Left Coalition, was predicted to take around the same share of the vote as PASOK with 15-18 percent. In the previous election in 2009 they had less than 5 percent.

PASOK, which took 44 percent of the vote in a landslide victory in that election, was shown with between 14 and 18 percent, according to polls by Kapa Research and a pool of five companies for Greek television stations.

New Democracy also appeared particularly hard hit with a vote share way below opinion poll predictions of around 25 percent.

If confirmed by official results, the election could plunge Greece into new political turmoil, reigniting a euro zone debt crisis first detonated by Athens in 2009 and starting it down a path that could take it out of the euro.

The exit polls showed Greeks fuming at record unemployment, collapsing businesses and steep wage cuts had ignored warnings that a vote against the harsh terms of the bailout would push Greece towards bankruptcy.

Earlier during voting leaders from all sides emphasised the importance of the vote for the future of Greece, which is suffering one of Europe's worst postwar recessions.

"We all agree that these elections are perhaps the most crucial and today each of us is deciding not only who will govern the country but also Greece's path for the next decades," said outgoing technocrat Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, as he cast his vote in Athens.

RAGE

But many Greeks expressed their rage at the ruling parties as they voted.

"My vote was a protest vote because they cut my pension and there are more measures waiting for us around the corner," said 75-year-old pensioner Kalliopi, her fists clenched in anger.

"I live in a basement but pay the same (property) tax as someone who lives in a penthouse," said Kalliopi after voting in Athens.

International lenders and investors fear success for the small parties opposed to the bailout could lead to Greece reneging on the harsh terms for the programme, risking a sovereign default and dragging the euro zone back into the worst crisis since its creation.

Euro zone paymaster Germany has warned there would be "consequences" to an anti-bailout vote and the EU and IMF insist whoever wins the election must stick to austerity if they want to receive the aid that keeps Greece afloat.

(Additional reporting by Ingrid Melander, Lefteris Papadimas, Dina Kyriakidou and George Georgiopoulos.; Writing by Barry Moody,; editing by Mike Peacock)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Iran Oil Payment

Iran Oil Payment

India to make May-July oil payments to Iran - sources  Full Article 

Ferry Tragedy

Ferry Tragedy

Children's corpses in Korean ferry reveal desperate attempts to escape.  Full Article 

Ukraine Crisis

Ukraine Crisis

Russia says it will respond if Ukraine interests attacked.  Full Article 

Reassuring Allies

Reassuring Allies

Obama seeks to ease Asian allies' doubts during visit to Japan.  Full Article 

Moyes Speaks

Moyes Speaks

Sacked Moyes thanks Ferguson for Man Utd opportunity.  Full Article 

Mobile Ads

Mobile Ads

Google extends reach into mobile apps with new ad feature.  Full Article 

Allegations Denied

Allegations Denied

Allegations of teen sex abuse by three Hollywood execs denied.  Full Article 

Need for Speed

Need for Speed

United must move fast with vital window looming.  Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage