Conservatives are returning to power in Greece after crushing the leftist ruling party, which failed in its pledge to fight austerity. Now New Democracy offers more jobs and less taxes for austerity-weary Greeks.
The party of opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has claimed 39.74 percent of the vote, with Syriza trailing on 31.5 percent, the Interior Ministry said, after counting nearly 45 percent of the vote in the snap election.
If nothing changes significantly, New Democracy would claim between 155 and 167 seats in the 300-member parliament, which would enable it to form a government without political complications.
The turnout in the election was estimated at around 55 percent, which was blamed on the hot weather, as temperatures reached over 40 degrees in some parts of the country.
Syriza, which had been in the driving seat since 2015, has acknowledged its defeat, with Alexis Tsipras calling Mitsotakis to congratulate him.
Syriza came to power four-and-a-half years ago with promises of ending austerity. The country’s economy took a massive blow during the 2008 crisis and required two harsh international bailouts to remain in the Eurozone.
However, shortly after taking office, Tsipras was forced to agree to the terms of a third bailout. The move caused a split within the Syriza party and led to a snap election, which the PM again won.In the ensuing three years, the government would manage to achieve a moderate economic growth of 1.3 percent, which, however, didn’t result in significant improvements in the well-being of many Greeks.