The Greek elections are of keen interest to many who do not normally follow their politics. And judging from questions I have received, not everyone in North America understands the mechanics of parliamentary government.
This is the best update and description of the process which I can find.
I cannot speak to accuracy of the PASOK party and the terms of their willingness to join a coalition with New Democracy, but they are the party of George Papandreou, and it does sound correct based on what I have heard.
What the ECB, the IMF and their money masters have to say about renegotiating terms is another matter altogether.
Some of the spin today has been that 'Greece does not matter, because it is so small' and that is wrong. Any failure matters here because of the overleveraged and highly unstable condition of the western financial system. Some do matter more than others, but if the anti-austerity party had won last night, the equity would have been in meltdown mode today.
As it was, NYSE volume was anaemic.
Greek coalition talks to enter 2nd day
NICHOLAS PAPHITIS, Associated Press
Monday, June 18, 2012 3:07 PM
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's two pro-bailout parties appeared likely Monday to agree on forming a coalition government after a bruising election watched closely because of its potential impact on the world economy, but negotiations were pushed to a second day after the head of the socialist party insisted on a broad partnership.
Sunday's vote — the second national election in six weeks — again left no party with enough votes to form a government on its own. Antonis Samaras' conservative New Democracy party won the most seats in parliament and was leading efforts to forge a coalition.
The socialist PASOK party, led by former finance minister Evangelos Venizelos, came in third. But its 33 seats in the 300-member Parliament means it can form a government with New Democracy, which gained 129 seats. A coalition would have to have a minimum of 151 seats combined in order to form a government.
Both PASOK and New Democracy have said they will stick to Greece's international bailout commitments, although they want to renegotiate some of the harsh austerity measures imposed in return for the international rescue loans that have kept the country afloat since May 2010.
The election results eased concern that Greece faced an imminent exit from Europe's joint currency. A Greek exit from the 17-nation eurozone would have potentially catastrophic consequences for other ailing European nations and hurt the United States and the entire global economy.
As head of the party that came first, Samaras was given the mandate Monday to seek coalition partners. He has three days to reach an agreement, and if he fails the second party is given another three days to try. The radical left-wing anti-bailout Syriza party came in second...
Read the rest here.