May 7 - Greek voters punish parties which support an EU/IMF bailout and the required spending cuts that go with it. Paul Chapman reports.
Greece's Left Coalition Party is celebrating after an election that's put it in second place according to early results on Monday. The prospect of another international bailout is rocking Greece's political boat severely. Voters appear to be punishing the parties which support a bailout and the resulting heavy spending cuts that come with it. The smaller anti-bailout parties have been winning their hearts instead. SOUNDBITE: ALEXIS TSIPRAS, LEFT COALITION LEADER, SAYING (Greece): "The people of Europe cannot compromise with the barbaric bailouts. They cannot legitimise an undignified future. The European leadership, primarily Ms Merkel, needs to understand that the policy of austerity has suffered a huge defeat. Our primary commitment at this time is that we will honour the mandate the people are giving us to do whatever is in our hands so that the country will have a government which will condemn the bailout agreement and cancel austerity measures." The Socialist PASOK party is paying the price of its pro-bailout stance and handling of the nation's sovereign debt crisis. Monday's early results put the party in third place. Its conservative coalition partner New Democracy was leading but facing an uphill struggle to renew its coalition deal with PASOK. The ultra-nationalist far right party Golden Dawn, on the other hand, scooped an unprecedented six-to-eight per cent share of the vote. If the official results confirm the early ones the country could be plunged into further political turmoil. That could re-ignite the euro-zone debt crisis first triggered by Athens in 2009 and could ultimately lead the country out of the single currency. Some analysts say the unprecedented fragmentation of the vote could force another election. Paul Chapman, Reuters