The center-right New Democracy party is expected to win today's elections by a small margin - too small to allow it to form a government on its own. Still, voters appear to have rejected the country's left-wing Syriza party, whose leader, Alexis Tsipras, had campaigned on an anti-austerity platform. "Austerity" has become shorthand for a tighter fiscal policy, the only way that the European Union would agree to a Greek bailout package. But the austerity plan has worried - and angered - many Greeks, whose economy has been barely holding on. World markets, meanwhile, had been fretting about a Syriza victory because of how it might threaten the euro zone. On news of its victory, the New Democracy party proposed forming a pro-euro coalition government. Asian markets open later this afternoon so we'll see about the reaction. Here's the latest from AP.
From the NYT:
Any new leader, however, will face an uphill battle to inject confidence into a paralyzed economy that depends heavily on the continued infusion of money from the European Central Bank. The bank has become the last lifeline for a financial system that has all but seized up and a deficit-ridden government that has little ability to raise new revenues or borrow money to continue its operations. On Monday, as Greece tries to form a viable government, leaders of the G-20 group of developed and emerging economies will gather in Mexico, where they are expected to debate ways to keep the Greek crisis and the weakness of the bigger economies of Spain and Italy from undermining the euro and dragging the global economy into a new recession. Central bankers from Tokyo to Washington have pledged to intervene in financial markets if necessary, but the Greek drama could keep investors on edge for weeks.