The leader of Greece's center-right, pro-bailout New Democracy party claimed "a victory for all Europe" after a first-place showing in Sunday's parliamentary elections, promising that unpopular austerity measures "will bring the country back to prosperity."
New Democracy's Antonis Samaras now finds himself facing a new round of coalition talks, six weeks after a previous election failed to produce a government. In a brief address after Sunday's vote, he pledged to form a slate "determined to do what it takes and do it fast."
"Today the Greek people expressed the will to stay anchored within the euro, remain in the eurozone and foster growth. This is a victory for all Europe," Samaras said. "I call on all parties share those objectives to form a stable new government."
With nearly 65% of ballots counted, New Democracy won just over 30% of the vote, according to Interior Ministry figures. But that showing translates to about 13 0 seats in the country's 300-seat parliament, forcing it to seek other coalition members from the fragmented field.
Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Greece's leftist, anti-bailout Syriza party, congratulated New Democracy late Sunday, but said his party's nearly 27% showing has forced Greek leaders to realize the bailout "is a nonviable economic plan."
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