May 7 - Some Greek residents in Athens are unsurprised by hung parliament, while others are pleased with the possibility of a new coalition government, the exact opposite of market sentiments. Jessica Gray reports.
Greece's hung parliament is the talk of the town in Athens. On Sunday, the country's largest political forces failed to win a majority in parliament. The conservative and pro-bailout package New Democracy Party, which won the most votes, has three days to form a coalition government. If it fails to do so, anti-bailout party the Left Coalition will have its chance. Some here are happy that there was no clear leader after the vote. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LENA KOUTAKOU, 45, UNEMPLOYED LINGUIST, SAYING: "I feel that the result is actually surprising, amazing and really hopeful for Greek people. I'm also thrilled because among our friends we are may be the only ones speaking about politics and we were the only ones worried." Others said the socialist PASOK party deserved to trail in third place due to a disappointing campaign. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GIANNIS TZOUVALAKIS, 57, SAYING: "This result was to be expected after Pasok disintegrated, after all the mistakes it made after the bailout. It is only right that someone else governs. But it didn't give anyone the outright victory. New Democracy didn't get the result it asked for. But it was to be expected." Greece's stock market fell sharply following the news, with analysts blaming worries that parties will fail to form a new government quickly. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FINANCIAL ANALYST FROM EFG EUROBANK, PLATON MONOKROUSSOS, SAYING: "This is apparently a reflection of the uncertainty related to the election outcome. The eurozone is also trading lower today, and all eyes will be on the efforts by political parties to form a new coalition government in Greece." If Greece is unable to form a coalition government and approve 11 billion euros of spending cuts this month, it could lose a much-needed bailout package and default on its loans. Jessica Gray, Reuters