- Election leaves Greece in political instability
- Merkel appears to lose regional election, invites Hollande to Berlin
- Israel to hold parliamentary elections in September
- Turkey's Erdogan claims that victory of Syria's rebels is close
Election leaves Greece in political instability
The two parties that have ruled Greece for decades did more poorly than expected in Sunday's parliamentary elections, giving power to the far left and far right parties that are opposed to the austerity requirements of the recurring EU bailouts of Greece. The conservative New Democracy party, led by Antonis Samaras, won a plurality, but with only a meager 20% of the vote. The center-left socialist PASOK party took a big nosedive, receiving only 14% of the vote. It had been hoped that ND and PASOK would together have enough seats in parliament to form a governing coalition that would support the bailout terms, but that hope is very much in doubt now.
The big surprise was the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), led by Alexis Tsipras, with 16% of the vote. Tsipras has ruled out working with either ND or PASOK, and said he would try to form a coalition of left-wing parties to oppose the EU bailout terms.
Under Greek law, Samaras will have three days to try to form a governing coalitions, and if he fails, then Tsipras will try. Kathimerini
Merkel appears to lose regional election, invites Hollande to Berlin
That Europeans are sick and tired of austerity, even in Germany, is clear from Sunday's elections. France threw out incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in favor of hope and change candidate François Hollande,, and Greece decimated both major parties. In Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrat party appears likely to lose a regional election, continuing a pattern that may erode her chances of a third term next year. Merkel has invited Hollande to Berlin to discuss Hollande's campaign promise to reject the austerity of the "fiscal pact" made by European leaders in December, but Hollande appears to be softening his rhetoric, as he's now talking about simply "adding" to the pact. Reuters
Israel to hold parliamentary elections in September
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday announced his desire to hold early parliamentary elections, possibly in September. Elections are not required for a year and a half, but he said that political instability invariably leads to extortion and populism that harm security, the economy and society. "I will not allow a campaign of a year and a half that will harm the country," he said. Ynet
Turkey's Erdogan claims that victory of Syria's rebels is close
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited a camp for refugees who fled the violence in Syria, and said that the opposition in Syria is gaining more and more international support, and he vowed solidarity with the Syrian people:
"Your suffering is ours. Bashar [al-Assad] is losing support with every passing day.
Your victory is close. … Never lose hope. … We are always with you. I also believe that God is with you, too."