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live Greece is proceeding to early elections

29 December 2014 / 13:12:47  GRReporter
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The third attempt of the Greek parliament to elect a president of the country has failed as well. 168 MPs supported Stavros Dimas and 132 did not. The number of positive votes was below the required 180 and, therefore, Greece will hold early parliamentary elections.

According to the procedure stipulated in the Constitution, this Parliament should be disbanded within 10 days and the elections should be held within a month.

In a statement after the vote, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced that this Parliament will be disbanded on Tuesday, 30 December, and the elections will take place on 25 January 2015. "Today was the last vote to elect a president. We did what we could to elect one and to avoid the early elections that are bringing risks and that are not supported by citizens. Many independent MPs voted for the nomination but a minority of 132 MPs, including those of SYRIZA, voted against him. All of them are responsible for this vote."

Samaras expressed confidence that after 4 weeks Greeks will vote in favour of those political forces that "will continue to carry out reforms that will take Greece out of the crisis." It is expected that tomorrow he will visit President Karolos Papoulias to trigger the procedure of the official announcement of early elections.

In turn, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said, "Today is a historic day for Greece. Greek lawmakers have proved that democracy cannot be blackmailed. When a large majority of the Greek people is determined to end the memoranda policy, lawmakers have only one choice, namely to respond to the citizens’ request. Today the government of Samaras that has attacked society and has already committed to implement new measures (budgetary consolidation - author’s note) passed in the past. After several days, the memoranda will also be part of the past. The future has already begun. Be joyful and optimistic."

At the same time, the Athens Stock Exchange has reported a decline below the critical minimum of 800 points. The critical result of the vote of the Greek MPs has collapsed the stock markets of Italy and Spain as well. The international news agency Reuters reports that the ratio of the euro is now close to its lowest value over the past two years, as investors were also anticipating the developments in Greece.

Today's parliamentary vote was vilified due to the behaviour of Golden Dawn MPs, who, immediately after the announcement of the result, stood up and began to shout and swear at those MPs who had supported the candidacy of Stavros Dimas. They shouted at some of the Ministers and did not want to leave the room. At some point, extreme right leader Nikos Michaloliakos shouted at the police officers guarding the parliament, "Handcuff the thieves from the coalition government, not us." His wife Eleni Zaroulia added, "Take to prison those here, not Golden Dawn".

The Golden Dawners left the plenary hall only when the members of the other parliamentary forces had almost emptied it.

Tags: PoliticsParliamentPresidential electionsEarly electionsConstitution
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