Analysis: Greek elections give euro renewed optimism

By Alex Veeneman on June 17, 2012

Antonis Samaras, the leader of Greece’s New Democracy party, which is to win the majority of seats in the country’s election.
(Photo courtesy of Flickr user eppofficial)

As much of the world begins the working week, European leaders and sectors of the financial markets will likely be breathing a prodigious sigh of relief, which will soon turn as Monday begins elsewhere.

Greek voters have voted in favor of the New Democracy party, which backs the bailout conditions set by the European Union in order to secure the future of the single currency within the 17-nation euro zone. “The Greek people voted today to stay on the European course and remain in the euro zone,” the party’s leader Antonis Samaras said after the result was confirmed according to a BBC report. “There will be no more adventures. Greece’s place in Europe will not be put in doubt. The sacrifices of the Greek people will bring the country back to prosperity.” Samaras added that Greece would ensure that its obligations would be fulfilled.

Samaras will now look to form a coalition government with one of the other parties, likely at the moment to be the Socialist Pasok party, because the Syriza party leader (and New Democracy’s main opponent) Alexis Tsipras has said the party would not participate in a pro-bailout government. “The proposal to overturn the [loan] memorandum is the only viable solution, not just for the Greeks, but for the other peoples of Europe,” Tsipras said according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. “It is the only solution for Europe.”

Pasok’s leader Evangelos Venizelos said according to the Journal that there isn’t a day to lose. “Greece must have a new government tomorrow,” Venizelos said.

There had been a lot of tension within Europe and internationally if Syriza was elected to form a government because of Syriza’s stances against the bailout. It would have likely meant that Greece were to exit the euro zone. Now, a possible exit has been, for the moment, subsided, as the work begins across the continent to address the crisis, even as political uncertainty continues in Greece.

A rough hurdle, for many, has passed. Now, we wait.

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