A Citizen’s Guide to Greece 2015


May 5, 2012

Greek Election Coverage 2012

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Written by: PR

Hellenic Elections

Politis Live Blog on Hellenic Elections
Election Central 2012
Rolling coverage by the team at the Dukakis Center of elections in Greece, France, and Serbia.
Latest Article
Day Monday Time 23:34

David Wisner


No comment.

Recent Articles
Day Tuesday Time 01:05
Day Tuesday Time 00:27

David Wisner

Wealthy Frenchmen are taking their money and running. Maybe they will find some Greeks who left early to avoid the new taxes.



Time 00:15

David Wisner

What will happen when people understand who they are?

If this information starts spreading and those who do not know what they stand for really care to learn that their ideology (if you call it one) is neonazi then they wont vote for them again. I have asked very religious people what they think of them and they did not know, but I really think that for one more election if it is within a month, yes, they will get many seats again, probably the same as now. Tthe ages groups which i addressed were 50 and over.

Post scriptum. A bit of info on something I have encountered. In a small village in Korinthia, Xrusi Augi was the second party!!! Korithia, the whole nomos, has one elected MP from Xysi Augi, two from New Democracy, one from Syriza, and none of Pasok. Outside the electoral center I saw it in my own eyes, Romas were waiting to get money from the village president, actually asking for it from him. Romas in the same village are also asking around who the Golden Dawn are beacuse they heard that they are hunting Roma. Is this paranoia in this country or not?

Day Monday Time 23:57

David Wisner

More on Golden Dawn.

Women are respected only for their role as mothers to bread warriors like in ancient Sparta. Their name is a bit strange, there is a golden dawn esoteric order and their most serious critics acuss them for worshipping lucifer – probably affiliations with ancient greek pagan rituals I guess.

Not many people in the street know what they stand for! They think they are patriots! I have been disussing with people of all ages about them, even people who did not vote for them they dont think they are bad!

Day Monday Time 23:54

David Wisner

Have been reading for the Golden Dawn today. Scary stuff. Really.

They are using orthodoxy and patriotism to gather people around the organization. They have this surface which is covered with the love for the country and for the ancient Greeks, etc. If you search online there is a book by a guy who left the organization and he talks there about their tactics of stabbing and attacks to extreme leftists and immigrants, why and how he left, what the beliefs of the organization really are.

They actually state they believe in the white race’s supremacy and they believe in spiritual and racial inequality. This is taken from their website. They have been accused of serious attacks on immigrants and anarchists. They use the tactics df the squadristi in italy and Mihaliliakos has been in jail for some time and been acused himself of taking part in the attacks.

Day Monday Time 23:52

David Wisner

Most colorful imagery of the day: a bloody nose for Berlusconi. So say the BBC in their coverage of local elections yesterday and today in Italy.

Day Monday Time 23:48

David Wisner

According to official sources

voter turnout in Greece yesterday was just over 65%, problematically low by Greek standards.

Day Monday Time 23:40

David Wisner


Alexis Papahelas live on SKAI on the elections.

Day Monday Time 23:37

David Wisner

Sour grapes from George Karatzaferis? Apparently (tongue-in-cheek) his Greek compatriots voted carelessly. Presuming that had they thought a bit longer they would have voted for his party.

If indeed it is the case that voters did not make reasoned choices, how does one imagine the election results would have turned out if they had? A line of commentary in cyberspace is that the most “reasonable candidates and parties did not even make the cut.

Day Monday Time 23:34

David Wisner


No comment.

Day Monday Time 23:32

David Wisner


Market Watch has a good wrap on the tribulations of the euro on the day after. Trading as low as $1.2960 versus the dollar the euro ended the day at $1.3053, the lowest it has ben since January.

Day Monday Time 23:20

David Wisner

More from the Economist, this time on Serbia. While the election returns are a bit inconclusive, it would appear that Serbia will maintain its pro-EU course.

Day Monday Time 22:04

David Wisner

Promises, promises.The Economist, who are well known to cut to the quick, have this to say about the task ahead of Francois Hollande:

“Most of his campaign pledges—such as a boost in welfare benefits at the start of the school year, an extra 60,000 teaching jobs, and a partial reversal of the retirement age from 62 to 60 years—involve extra spending. Yet in France public spending already accounts for 56% of GDP, and the overall tax take is also high. And the IMF is forecasting a deficit closer to 3.9% for 2013. Mr Hollande will have very little room to manoeuvre. Winning the election was one thing; the hard part is about to begin.”

Lefta iparhoun?

Day Monday Time 21:57

David Wisner

It now looks like Syriza will also be unable to form a government which means it is more and more likely another election will be needed. Will people vote differently? I think so, because it seems to me that psychologically this election is the breakdown the country perhaps needed – the tension of the crisis and disunity in the country were being contained by the Troika but now everything is in the open for everyone to see. and though it may be unsettling it may be necessary to enable the country to now start moving on… another vote could be a very good thing for Greece.

Day Monday Time 21:40

David Wisner

Thus far in his attempt to forge a coalition Antonis Samaras has been rebuffed by both Alexis Tsipras and Fotis Kouvelis, leaders of Syriza and the Democratic Left, respectively. It appears that Samaras will pass the baton to Tsipras now, who has three days to try to form his own government.

Day Monday Time 21:38

David Wisner

I was interested to see that Golden Dawn received a consistent vote everywhere in Greece, even in areas with almost no immigrants which suggests that people voted for them for other reasons too. Which maybe even more worrying.

Day Monday Time 21:34

David Wisner

Unattributed advice to Francois Hollande from Rahm Emmanuel: “What I’d suggest to Francois Hollande is to send very quickly a representative to New York, to reassure the markets which are very nervous… The word ‘socialist’ still makes investors here afraid.”

Day Monday Time 21:32

David Wisner

Focus in France will be on President-elect Hollande’s choice for PM and on the upcoming legislative elections. On this note, there is some good analysis in Bloomberg

Day Monday Time 21:28

David Wisner

Some fun from friends in Taiwan.

Day Monday Time 21:26

David Wisner

Dr. Doom has spoken (via Twitter @Nouriel): “Greece cannot be governed when parties against austerity and the policies needed to keep the Euro got 66% of the vote. New elections likely.”

Day Monday Time 21:22

David Wisner

Voting amidst violence appears to be the fare on offer in Syria, according to this report from Reuters. “14 million people are eligible to vote, including expatriates, and 7,195 candidates are fighting for a 250-seat parliament.” Activists who are opposed to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad are boycotting the election.

Day Monday Time 21:11

David Wisner

Three for three, but naught yet in Greece. The Pirate Party took 8% of the vote in Schlesswif-Holstein yesterday and now has representation in three German states. No such luck in Greece, though.

Day Monday Time 21:08

David Wisner

Lots of news about the impact of yesterday’s elections on the markets. Here is a nifty factoid that has been making the rounds:

Greece’s economy is same size as Dallas-Fort Worth’s.

Day Monday Time 21:04

David Wisner

The face of things to come? Extremists in Germany battling it out in the street. That’s right, Germany, not Greece.

Day Monday Time 21:01

David Wisner

Another explanation (this one in Greek) about what to expect over the next days.

Day Monday Time 20:47

David Wisner

Another Politis blogger, Ruth Sutton, sent this photograph , and comments thus:

Outside parliament this morning. So, things get tough in a country for a while….so we vote for nazis??? What does a democratic country do about this situation? If anti-democratic people are democratically elected, do we have a mechanism to somehow keep them from exercising their power….and should we? If we believe in democracy and free speech for all, doesn’t this include fascists? Or are we OK with saying ‘democracy and free speech for all….apart from the people we disagree with’???but let the fascists take their seats and sit back and see what happens? Hitler was democratically elected……..

Day Monday Time 20:42

David Wisner

Our colleague Maria Patsarika shares this link (in Greek) , with the following commentary: “very interesting breakdown of the criteria for the winning vote. Equally interesting [sic] that the media typically abstain from such thorough analysis.”

Day Monday Time 20:37

David Wisner

A late night post from our correspondent in Athens, Krysta Kalachani.

“New democracy pasok and dimar will make govt??? If not issues of legitimacy for the elctoral law here, then what? No change… The people’s vote shows somethimg , but I don’t believe that this will be reflected in the Greek parliament. And 19 seats for Xrysi Aygi??? For god’s sake.. I expected them , but not as many… Really the electoral law and the way that the govt is going to be formed is to be questioned… I don’t expect changes from the govt to be formed…but I think that there is a new page starting from today…and in a couple of months the people are going to be reacting in other ways… Sadly or not, this is what I expect..

Xrysi Augi’s supporters in Stathmo Larissis, their offices somewhere there, one of the most problematic areas in Athens, are thrilled with the results and they are out in the streets throwing fireworks!! .. I am sad with the results of far right’s rise and with the issues of legitimacy raised… really perplexed. The last minute’s news say that the neo-nazis are heading to Syntagma…I expect the anarchists to be there too.”

Day Monday Time 20:23

David Wisner

The Wall Street Journal has had some good pages explaining the electoral process in Greece. In today’s online version of the paper they offer this account of what to expect of the next several days:

“Antonis Samaras today will receive a so-called exploratory mandate from President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias, whose role is largely ceremonial. This means he has three days to form a government. Mr. Samaras yesterday invited “all pro-European parties” to unite forces under his leadership to “keep the country in the euro” and “modify” the economic policies attached to Greece’s bailout program. That implies he’s likely to hold talks with most parties that have made it into parliament, apart from the neo-nazi Golden Dawn and the Communists who are both categorically anti-Europe.

If Mr. Samaras fails, the president will call on Alexis Tsipras, leader of Syriza, to try and form a government. Mr. Tsipras had called upon all left-wing parties to join forces before the election and will do so again now. In his address on Sunday evening following the results, he said he would do the same when the exploratory mandate reached his hands. He too will have three days to build a government.

If Mr. Tsipras fails, the exercise will be repeated by Evangelos Venizelos, the leader of socialist Pasok, which was the winner of the 2009 election and the party that oversaw the country’s bailout program and its debt restructuring. Mr. Venizelos Sunday said he too wanted a pro-Europe coalition.

If none of the three is able to form a coalition government, the president will call the leaders of all the parties in parliament together for one last stab at a cross-party coalition. But if that fails, too, the president and the party leaders are tasked with cobbling together a caretaker government that will lead the country to fresh elections.

If the party leaders can’t even agree on a caretaker prime minister (this has happened once before, in 1989) the president appoints the chief justice of either Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court, the Supreme Court, or the Court of Audits, to take the reins and lead the country to elections…”

Day Monday Time 18:59

David Wisner

1,202,923. The number as of 3:40 Monday afternoon of votes cast for parties which did not pass the 3% threshold. New Democracy polled 1,191,245 and Syriza 1,060,563, to give you a sense of the magnitude of this number. Early estimates indicate that 35% of eligible voters abstained or cast blank ballots.

Day Monday Time 14:46

David Wisner

Greek elections results




Day Monday Time 18:49

David Wisner

“We in Germany are of the opinion, and so am I personally, that the fiscal pact is not negotiable. It has been negotiated and has been signed by 25 countries.” More intractability, as reported in the 13.05 entry in today’s Financial Times blog. A similar tune is being attributed to the IMF.

Day Monday Time 15:22

David Wisner

“France elections 2012: results of round two mapped

The second round of the French election results are in, with Socialist Francois Hollande winning over incumbent Nicholas Sarkozy. We’ve scraped the results by département, from France’s Ministry of the Interior, to show how the country voted. Click on or search an area below – or use the dropdown menu to see which bits of France voted for the Socialists or the UMP, and the turnout”




Day Monday Time 15:08

David Wisner

If efforts to reach a coalition government agreement fail, June 17th is reported as the date for the repeat elections.

Day Monday Time 15:02

David Wisner

19+% front: this a very large number and a huge deal, the percentage of votes cast that will lay unrepresented, stay outside parliament. Raises clear questions on the electoral law and on party politics, as for example, three liberal and reformist parties get locked out, when/if their powers/numbers were joined they would be at around 6.5%.

Day Monday Time 15:00

David Wisner

Some local news. Skai.gr has this page with the names of MPs elected last night for Thessaloniki A and B districts.

Day Monday Time 14:46

David Wisner

German’s in the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein voted yesterday. While Chancellor Merkel may be feeling pressed on all sides the German economy still shows signs of strength.

Day Monday Time 14:36

David Wisner

Back in the US, Politico have a lead story on a new poll out by George Washington University which has Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in a dead heat six months from election day. For more polling see here.

Day Monday Time 14:01

David Wisner

The reaction of the Asian markets to news from France and Greece was clearly negative . The Greek stock market is down, as is the euro, and fears of a Greek exit from the eurozone have been restoked.

Day Monday Time 14:14

David Wisner

It’s over. According to Nikos Konstandaras’ lead editorial in today’s English version of Kathimerini, “Yesterday’s elections destroyed the political system of the past 38 years.”

Konstandaras continues, “If SYRIZA’s rise leads to even greater interventions by the leftists in universities and other spheres of public life, then it is possible that the “troops” of leftists and anarchists will clash in the streets with the black shirts of Chrysi Avgi. Without a strong government to give them orders and support them, it is likely that the police will avoid getting involved in this rivalry, increasing citizens’ insecurity even further and perhaps leading to even greater political fragmentation.”

Day Monday Time 14:12

David Wisner

More punishment being meted out. Latest victim: Boris Tadic in Serbia.

Day Monday Time 14:8

David Wisner

Official results from CESID for presidential elections. 58.7% turnout:

1. Boris Tadic (Democratic Party) 26.8%
2. Tomislav Nikolic (Serbian Progressive Party) 25.6%
3. Ivica Dacic (Socialist Party of Serbia) 15.2%
4. Vojislav Kostunica (Democratic Party of Serbia) 7.7%
5. Zoran Stankovic (United Regions of Serbia) 7.1%
6. Cedomir Jovanovic (Liberal Democratic Party) 5.3%
7. Jadranka Seselj (Serbian Radical Party) 3.9%

Everything same as last night. Two leading candidates, Tadic and Nikolic, are going to second round in two weeks. Experts are giving more chances to Tadic especially he was down in the first round for the last two times and he won.

Official CESID results for parliamentary elections:

1. Serbian Progressive Party 24.7% – 73 seats
2. Democratic Party 23.2% – 68
3. Socialist Party of Serbia 16.6% – 45
4. Democratic Party of Serbia 7.2% – 20
5. Liberal Democratic Party 6.6% – 20
6. United Regions of Serbia 6.1% – 16
8. Aliance of Vojvodina Hungarians 2.4% minority party – 5
8. Non of answers offered 0.5% minority party – 1
9. Party of Democratic Action 0.41% minority party – 1
10. All together 0.41% minority party – 1

Experts are giving best chances to Democratic Party+Socialist Party of Serbia+Liberal Democratic Party to form a government along with some of the minority parties. Also, they are predicting game of “poker” between potential coalition partners. There is a big question who will be the new prime minister – Tadic said he won’t tolerate any manipulation with votes while Dacic said that the prime minister is already known. Votes from Kosovo did not arrive yet, but predictions are that they won’t make big difference. Non of parties below census will come up. For the first time in the last 20 years Serbian Radical Party is out of parliament.

Official results for local elections in Belgrade:

1. Democratic Party 35.15% – 50 seats
2. Serbian Progressive Party 25.69% – 37
3. Socialist Party of Serbia 9.18% – 13
4. Democratic Party of Serbia 7.45% – 10

Highly likely Democratic Party and Socialist Party of Serbia will form a coalition.

Day Monday Time 13:40

David Wisner

Welcome back for a second day of coverage of elections in Greece and elsewhere in Europe

Day Sunday Time 01:33

David Wisner

That about wraps things up from the team at Politis. Thanks for reading, and see you again tomorrow for more on the post-election scene.

Day Sunday Time 00:27

David Wisner

Over at Flash Radio at 96FM in Athens and 99.4FM in Thessaloniki, two things caught my attention: a journalist whose voice I trust mentioned the idea of immediate new elections based on political or party mathematics, and others reported on the downward opening of Asian stock market trade and the Euro.

Day Sunday Time 00:27

David Wisner

3% battle: it seems that Democratic Alliance is falling behind, while for Popular Orthodox Rally and EcoGreens the night has more to give or take.

Day Sunday Time 01:42

David Wisner

The electoral map and list as it looks like at 1:30pm


Day Sunday Time 01:15

David Wisner

Official results from CESID for presidential elections. 58.7% turnout:

1. Boris Tadic (Democratic Party) 26.8%
2. Tomislav Nikolic (Serbian Progressive Party) 25.6%
3. Ivica Dacic (Socialist Party of Serbia) 15.2%
4. Vojislav Kostunica (Democratic Party of Serbia) 7.7%
5. Zoran Stankovic (United Regions of Serbia) 7.1%
6. Cedomir Jovanovic (Liberal Democratic Party) 5.3%
7. Jadranka Seselj (Serbian Radical Party) 3.9%

Official CESID results for parliamentary elections on 26.6% of votes counted:

1. Serbian Progressive Party 24.7%
2. Democratic Party 23.2%
3. Socialist Party of Serbia 16.6%
4. Democratic Party of Serbia 7.2%
5. Liberal Democratic Party 6.6%
6. United Regions of Serbia 6.1%
7. Serbian Radical Party 5%
8. Aliance of Vojvodina Hungarians 2.4% minority party
9. Party of Democratic Action 0.4 minority party
10. All together 0.4% minority party

Serbian Radical Party is very close to census and it could depend on votes from Kosovo.

Unofficial results for local elections in Belgrade:

1. Democratic Party 36.2%
2. Serbian Progressive Party 24.5%
3. Socialist Party of Serbia 8.9%
4. Democratic Party of Serbia 7.3%

All other below census.

Statement of the night, Ivica Dacic, leader of Socialist Party of Serbia: “Maybe its not sure who will be the president, but one is fore sure – who will be the prime minister!”

Day Sunday Time 001:11

David Wisner

The wrap on local elections last week in the UK from the Guardian. Labour made major gains although Boris Johnson was reelected in London. The Liberal Democrats may be the biggest losers. A reminder that when things go bad voters reject the incumbent party, be it to the right or to the left.

Day Sunday Time 01:02

David Wisner

Interesting scenario now because even if ND and PASOK work together
they wont have much legitimacy (given the overall vote), and SYRIZA
said tonight that they will not work with ND or PASOK but would form a
coalition of parties opposed to the memorandum.. so, what will happen?

Day Sunday Time 00:37

David Wisner

Throwing the marker down, as one might expect the Telegraph to do. Does not matter who is elected or where, the welfare state in a globalized economy is a thing of the past. Janet Daily writes,

“In all the phoney ardour and heat, no one is paying any attention to the two facts that make nonsense of this supposed debate – which is not a debate. The first is that the assumption which all the principal parties have chosen to share is wrong. Relying on the free market to support a vast system of entitlements (whichever of the two you choose to make your first priority) is not sustainable. The market economy simply cannot afford the enormous cost of the social security programmes that are now regarded as politically untouchable in Europe and in the US – as both of their political elites are painfully discovering.

The second, and even more critical point, is that the economy has become so globalised that it is beyond the control of any national government, and therefore outside the reach of democratic accountability.”

Day Sunday Time 00:34

David Wisner

1. Boris Tadic (Democratic Party) 26.4%
2. Tomislav Nikolic (Serbian Progressive Party) 24.8%
3. Ivica Dacic (Serbian Socialst Party) 14.8%
4. Vojislav Kostunica (Democratic Party of Serbia) 7%
5. Zoran Stankovic (United Regions of Serbia) 6.5%
6. Cedomir Jovanovic (Liberal Democratic Party) 5%
7. Jadranka Seselj (Serbian Radical Party) 3.7%


Day Sunday Time 00:31

David Wisner

Presumption or premonition? President-elect Hollande claims his election will be a “new departure for Europe.” Where is the money going to come from. Incidentally, this was the gist of George Papandreou’s press comments after he voted this morning.

Day Sunday Time 00:29

David Wisner

Strong words from Der Spiegel: Destined to disappoint.” Are we writing Hollande off so soon? “During his campaign, François Hollande promised to be a different president than Nicolas Sarkozy. But economic realities will make it difficult for him to fulfill that pledge, and many of his supporters are likely to be bitterly disappointed. His road ahead is filled with potential pitfalls.”

Day Sunday Time 00:27

David Wisner

Foreign Affairs have really got the beat on the election story in France. The real key will be the legislative elections in just about a month’s time.

Day Sunday Time 00:23

David Wisner

The markets are jittery, not over Greece but given the news that Hollande will be the next President. Apparently Merkel will try to meet with her new French homologue early in the week.

Day Sunday Time 00:20

David Wisner

Initial doubts from Le Monde about whether or not the new Greek Parliament will be able to pursue the reforms agreed with the Troika. The intrigue has begun already. Who will govern with whom. This question will preoccupy us for days to come.

Day Sunday Time 00:14

David Wisner

3%: it is further important as, because of the threshold, more than 18% (at around midnight) of the electorate’s choices as votes, go unanswered as seats in parliament. This percentage is taken out of the calculation that produces the results allocating seats (increasing the value of the numerator and reducing the value of the denominator).

Day Sunday Time 00:13

David Wisner

3%: it is also important because three parties (Popular Orthodox Rally, EcoGreens, Democratic Allinace) will stay up all night and wait until the morning and every ballot is counted to see if they’re in or not.

Day Sunday Time 00:12

David Wisner

New Democracy President Antonis Samaras also says he will offer initiative for a pro-Euro and ‘memorandum’-amending, national unity government.

Day Sunday Time 00:10

David Wisner

PASOK President Evangelos Venizelos says he will offer sincere, serious and speedy initiative for pro-European national unity government, regardless of their previous stance on the ‘memorandum’, in order to test in practice those opinions that say it can be loosened.

Day Sunday Time 00:05

David Wisner

According to Skai tonight, Golden Dawn demanded that journalists stood
up when their leader entered the press room and that those who refused
left the room.

Day Sunday Time 00:05

David Wisner

looking at the results now it is clear that people have voted against
austerity, the question now is whether anyone can offer a viable
alternative.. and what the consequences of that alternative would be?

Day Sunday Time 22:20

David Wisner

3%: a lot of the discussion tonight will focus on this number but what does it mean? For those not familiar with the Greek electoral system, it is the nationwide threshold required to enter parliament.

Day Sunday Time 21:36

David Wisner

French media have called the presidential election for Francois Hollande with 51.9% of the vote.

Day Sunday Time 21:34

David Wisner

Serbia: until 7pm 53.7% turnout, around 60% is expected! First results soon!

Day Sunday Time 20:56

David Wisner

The German state of Schleshwig-Holstein is voting today also. Early projections here.

Day Sunday Time 20:54

David Wisner

Flash Radio at 96FM in Greece reports that exit polls in Schleswig-Holstein (Germany’s northernmost state holding elections today) show CDU and SPD virtually tied for top spot.

Day Sunday Time 20:32

David Wisner

Unofficial reports from France (as their polls are open until 9pm Greek time and will be allowed after that) indicate that Francois Hollande will win and speak of a “great night”.

Day Sunday Time 20:30

David Wisner

Krysta Kalachani in Athens, who will be reporting shortly, writes that she is “struck by the percentages of Xrysi Augi that I am told me are high. As for the results that I heard, I think it is rather early. Not surprised with them in general. I expected something like that, but it is early I think.”

Day Sunday Time 20:21

Ian Kohoe

The first exit poll results are most shocking for the rise of the far
right.. these people are far more extreme than Le Pen in France or
other far right groups – Members of Golden Dawn have been accused of
carrying out acts of violence and hate crimes against illegal
immigrants, political opponents and ethnic minorities – and now they
will have seats in parliament.. even the carefully written Wikipedia
article on them is very worrying..

..how did they get this far?

Day Sunday Time 19:53

David Wisner

Here is the site of Singular Logic at the Ministry of the Interior. No data are recorded at this point of time.

Day Sunday Time 19:51

David Wisner

Is Monti in trouble in Italy, as Cameron (and Clegg) appear to be in the UK. Euronews seem to think so.

Day Sunday Time 19:45

David Wisner

As the first exit polls come in and it appears certain that Golden Dawn will win seats in the parliament, let us share this doomsday scenario from the reporters at Deutsche Welle, entitled Totalitarian ideologies on the rise among young Greek voters.

Day Sunday Time 19:42

David Wisner

Nea Dimocratia (Conservative/Samaras): 17-20 %

PASOK (Socialists/ Venizelos): 14-17 %

SYRIZA (Left-wing/Tsipras): 15.5-18.5 %

KKE (Communists/Papariga): 7.5-9.5 %

Democratic Left (left/Kouvelis): 4.5-6.5 %

Independent Greeks (right/Kammenos): 10-12 %

LAOS (right/Karatzaferis): struggling for 3%

Chrysi Avgi (extreme-right/Michaloliakos): 6-8%

Eco-Greens: struggling for 3%

Democratic Alliance (liberal/Bakoyanni) %

Day Sunday Time 19:32

David Wisner
Everyone I talked to today in Greece voted for different parties than
they normally vote for, and different parties to each other – amongst
friends and families there was far less consensus than there might
have been previously – however many people are voting with one thing
in common – they want to challenge the status quo and send a message
to the two main parties – so it should be an interesting result,
perhaps the two main parties will get an even lower vote than
expected. Maybe the best thing that could happen would be that this
would force a renewal of the two main parties and allow some new ideas
and new faces to emerge….

Day Sunday Time 19:27

David Wisner
Various media are reporting that the Syrian opposition are urging a boycott of the elections called for tomorrow by Syrian President Assad. The violence in the street continues unabated. Here is Aljazeera’s report.

Day Sunday Time 19:26

David Wisner

I can report that according to judicial, electoral and party representatives at the Electoral Precinct where I voted, turn out was at about 60%, around 6pm this afternoon.

Day Sunday Time 18:58

David Wisner
Another sort of democratic process. Protests in Moscow against the inauguration tomorrow of President-elect Vladimir Putin. Fears in Greece of similar demonstration have gripped the international press periodically since early elections were announced.

Day Sunday Time 00:27

David Wisner

The New York Times has an interesting article on Serbia and the economic problems faced by voters in this Balkan country.interesting article from NYT:

Day Sunday Time 17:58

David Wisner
Turnout in Serbia reportedly is higher at 2PM local time than in the 2008 parliamentary elections.

Just over 30% of voters have voted nation-wide, with the average in Belgrade just under 30%.

Day Sunday Time 17:42

David Wisner

Casted my ballot around 5:30pm!
The only thing I can report on (because of the electoral law) is that I saw three parties’ posters plastered in the thousands on lamp posts in the main streets (and no they weren’t from the two you would usually suspect).
At 7pm I will report on the turn out as it was given to me by the judicial and electoral representatives.
There’s one hour to go so vote vote vote!

Day Sunday Time 17:37

David Wisner

Rastko Golubovic recommends the live blog at Balkan Insight as the best source of news in English on the election in Serbia. Not much else to report on, he laments.

Day Sunday Time 17:24

David Wisner

May 6th, 2012 today, and Politis is offering coverage and commentary for the Elections in Greece, France and Serbia.
Google has added an extra artistic touch beyond all its news hosting and coverage celebrating the day with a French and Greek Election [Google Doodle] .

Off to the polling station I vote in the First District of Athens (A Athens) to cast my ballot. Will report later on from there.

Day Sunday Time 17:22

David Wisner
We reported earlier that Greece had been upgraded by Standard and Poor’s following the successful completion of the debt exchange in late April. Here is a little more positive news about the economy. We will survey the main Greek media outlets over the next hour or two. To Vima has a tidy election page on their web site with good last minute profiles of the principal political personalities involved in today’s contest and a good overview (inGreek) on how mainstream media outlets outside Greece are covering the election.

Day Sunday Time 17:15

David Wisner

Neat video clip on Reuters showing French voters lining up to vote in London.

Day Sunday Time 17:08

David Wisner
Some context on voter turnout in France. Per France24 , at just over 30% at midday the numbers are slightly up from the first round of voting two weeks ago, but less by around 4 percentage points than in 2007. Meanwhile the Guardian reminds us that Sarkozy risks being the “11th European leader to be swept from power during the economic crisis.”

Day Sunday Time 17:02

David Wisner

One of our Serbian readers kindly reminded us that important elections will be held tomorrow in Serbia also, where Serbs apparently face an equally stark choice, between Europe on the one hand and Russia on the other. Politis is watching BalkanInsight and B92

From Politis’ correspondent in Belgrade, Rastko Golubovic: Until 11:00am, 10.98% of people have voted. Higher by 1% than 4 years ago even though today is St. George day, one of the biggest Slava in Serbia. No irregularity so far, even in Kosovo where are 90 polling places. EU, Belgrade and Pristina were against elections on Kosovo but they are held anyways. In Novi Sad, second biggest city, one male person was offering 2500 dinars to voters to vote for particular party.

Further to our previous post, Euronews give top headlines to the three elections Politis is covering this weekend. Here news on the projected outcomes in Serbia.

Day Sunday Time 14:22

Ian KehoeMost stable democracies have two strong parties at the centre, this
election could change that in Greece – can many smaller parties
actually function together or will it lead to further instability?
People’s desire to vote differently this time does reflect a kind of
hope that change can happen – lets hope its realised. I am now off to
experience the voting day out and will return.

Day Sunday Time 13:58

David Wisner

Voter turnout is very high in France as reported on France24. The French Ministry of the Interior announced at 12 noon French time that turnout at midday is over 30% of all eligible voters. Polling ends at 6 PM (8 PM in large cities).

Day Sunday Time 13:32

David Wisner
And now for something completely different. Why not vote… for the bicycle! If you are in Thessaloniki Cycle Safari has organized a nice way to spend the day and see the city, by bike.

Day Sunday Time 13:02

David Wisner

Yvette Jarvis and Alec Mally in Athens have reminded Politis that registered American voters can take part today in the 2012 Global Primary election of Democrats Abroad, from 10-5 at the University of Indianapolis Cultural Center, 5 Markou Avriliou St, right next to the Tower of the Winds (Monastiraki metro station). Here is the site of Democrats Abroad.

Day Sunday Time 12:27

David Wisner
While the US Presidential election will take place in November, yesterday was an important milestone as Barack Obama formally launched his reelection campaign. Here is how the New York Times covered the story.

Day Sunday Time 03:07

David Wisner

There has been some consternation about the prospect of the right-wing party Golden Dawn seating deputies this Sunday, in Greece and abroad. This piece in the Guardian places the rise of the right throughout the West in a certain perspective.

Day Sunday Time 02:49

David Wisner

The feelings people have about voting, especially the first time, are universal. One of our readers from Skopje has been moved to share her experience of the first time she voted.

“Three years ago, when I turned eighteen, was the first moment when I had the feeling of belonging and commitment towards my country. That was the year of 2009 when I actually realized what being involved in elections really means.

A month before the elections, I was not really aware of what I am supposed to do when I enter the local high school and give my vote to someone that may after all lead my country. Due to this confusion that was going on inside of me, I was trying to avoid and postpone, as much as possible, the conversations and debates with other people about the coming elections. To be honest, I did not even have my own opinion that I can argue about, or try to convince someone else about it. Moreover, before my eighteenth birthday, I was not very engaged in such discussions. I would hear my parents talking from time to time, judging or approving the government’s actions but nothing more than that. On the other hand, I had this feeling that something does not seem right about the government that we had back then. There was this constant unemployment issue, the already existing conflict between the Muslims and Christians that the government could not handle very well, lack of exports even thought we had the capacity to produce and export goods and so on. Just the thought of it was turning my brain upside down.

After a while, maybe a week before the elections, I was thinking about not showing up at all because I had this “would my vote change something?“ on my mind. But when I started analyzing myself over and over again, I realized that I cannot just complain about the government without doing something about it. I will not have the right to judge the government and its actions whether in positive or negative sense when I have my chance so why would I miss it.

After all I decided to take a look on the internet, television, newspaper and any other media so I can get the general idea about the candidates and their offers. Moreover, I wanted to hear my parents opinion as well, because I consider it helpful.

When the day of elections came, I felt pretty much prepared for giving my vote to one of the parties. On the other hand, just the thought of it as my very first voting experience was making me nervous. While I was standing in the line for fingerprint control, my palms were sweating, my heart was beating faster but I was constantly trying to act normal and proper, just like all the other people around me. After few minutes, I took the list with names on it and went behind the screen and clearly circled number 6.

The moment when I went out of the building, completely different thoughts occupied my head. I really felt like a part of this small country so called FYROM, like I did something for this piece of land, after being part of it for 18 years.”

Day Sunday Time 02:27

David Wisner

We’ll be hearing more about Germany, the 800 pound gorilla in the room, as the weekend rolls on. One of the more intriguing political developments in the state elections in Germany this past year has been the rise of the Pirate Party. Here one member discusses this rise as a testament to “the quality of German democracy.” Nikiforos Diamandouros, now European Ombudsman, used to allude to the relative health of a democratic system in a similar vein.
The Pirates are in Greece, in case one hadn’t looked (this is not an endorsement).

Day Sunday Time 02:23

David Wisner

Why vote, why abstain? I’ve heard from a lot of people, including first-time voters, who ask why they should bother, especially now. To put this in context, let’s first ask the late American stand-up comedian George Carlin why he does _not_ vote:


Of more recent, and no-less poignant vintage is the interview done half-way through a recent interview by Dutchman Joris Luyendijk of an English citizen for the Guardian

“I am voting in every election. Always have… Not voting means you gave up the fight. That’s not English. It’s not in our race.”

Day Sunday Time 01:52

David Wisner
The folks in Athens at Reform Watch Greece have the results of their recent poll ready. They note that “Since there were a wide range of questions asked, a general conclusion is hard to reach. We note the survey indicated respondents gave the Greek governments since 2009 relatively low marks for reform accomplishments while disagreeing with many Troika objectives and strategies. This is not out-of-line with the general pre-election sense of public malaise.”

Day Sunday Time 01:41

David Wisner
Maria Margaronis has been covering Greece for The Nation, and has this out on the elections. A commentor has this to say: “You perceive Greece and Greeks through a liberal NGO kind of mind-frame. I am sure you mean well and feel sympathy towards Greeks, but that’s not enough. In fact, when reading your pieces about Greece I have the uncomfortable sense that you see it like some kind of a “pet country.” I recognize this discursive position. It has a long and ugly history.”

Day Sunday Time 01:27

David WisnerThere’s a lot of talk about the degree to which Greece is still a democratic polity, even as pundits decry the prospect of a hung parliament in Athens with upwards of 10 parties. Lest one have one’s doubts, a special on the Wall Street Journal Online on “masters of longevity,” dictators and autocrats who stayed in power well beyond their welcome, might set you straight.

Day Sunday Time 01:07

David Wisner

We’ve been featuring the sentiments of young voters who may be voting for the first time ever tomorrow. This note comes to us from Efstratios Adaloglou:

“I think that it is very difficult for a young person to vote nowadays. I mean… the whole situation here, in my country, is very bad and that makes me feel unsure about my decisions. But the truth is that my decisions are very important for my Nation. That’s why voting is a very difficult procedure. To go to vote in the elections or not to go? And if I go, what to vote? For some people is just a game. But, I think that my would change the history of my country. We have to choose the Party that will govern us, and will represent us internationally. So, we understand that the first Party will determine the path that our country will follow. Thus, we should take elections seriously.

On Sunday, it will be my first time that I vote in Governmental Elections. I feel very strange because I really don’t know what to vote. Politicians promise many things. But, are they able to do all these that they talk about in their election campaigns? So, after voting, I will be filled with the sense of responsibility. I will ask myself if I believe the Party that I voted. It will be very nice if this Party will form the Government. Although it is my decision, I will feel very disappointed if they don’t do what they promise. I wish that on Sunday my country will choose the suitable Party for us.

Vote responsibly – save Greece.”

Day Sunday Time 00:44

David WisnerWhom to vote for? Rarely has this question posed such a dilemma to voters anywhere. Two online tools aim to help Greek voters identify which party or parties come closest to their personal interests, Choose4Greece and Help Me Vote. You can find a link to the former on Politis , while the latter is here. The folks at the Thessaloniki-based daily Aggelioforos have other ideas, like checking the names of women candidates only, although one of our readers calls this “feminazism.”

Day Sunday Time 00:41

David Wisner

The Guardian’s Ian Traynor ran a story outlining elections in no fewer than five (!) European countries this weekend, including Italy. Here is what Traynor has to say about Greece’s Mediterannean neighbor:

“Italy stages a first round of town hall elections on Sunday and Monday, seen as the first chance to measure the post-Berlusconi popular mood and whether those supportive of the caretaker reformist prime minister, Mario Monti, do well. With Umberto Bossi, the separatist, Europhobic leader of the Northern League, mired in sleaze scandals, his party could take a hammering in the northern industrial heartland.

That would be good news for Monti.”

Day Sunday Time 00:38

David Wisner
Veit Medick at Der Spiegel has reminded us how keenly the government of Chancellor Merkel will be watching three sets of elections, in Greece, in France (more on this to come), and in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein, where her own party looks likely to suffer losses. Likewise, it appears from voting in the UK earlier this week that the governing coalition in the UK has emerged weakened, with important gains by Labour throughout the country.

Day Sundaythis Time 00:32

David Wisner
One of our Serbian readers kindly reminded us that important elections will be held tomorrow in Serbia also, where Serbs apparently face an equally stark choice, between Europe on the one hand and Russia on the other. Politis is watching BalkanInsight and B92 for reporting in English, while Rastko Golubovic will file occasional posts from Belgrade.

Day Sunday Time 00:27

David Wisner
There is great interest in Greece and abroad in the fact that as many as 8-10 parties will win seats in the Greek Parliament after Sunday’s elections, including on Intrade.How many options might one want to take out for tomorrow’s contest?

Day Sunday Time 18:52

David WisnerWelcome to Politis live blog on the elections in Greece, France, and Serbia this weekend.

Commentary on Greece from major international news outlets tended in two senses yesterday. On the one hand, there was a predictably gloomy piece in Market Watch.On the other hand, a somewhat more hopeful tone was sounded on the BBCand in the Guardian, while Der Spiegel’s international edition sounded a more cautious note.Meanwhile, a little positive news was buried in the Wall Street Journal.

For background see the Economist.Athens News has a tidy map which will be activated once returns begin coming in.


  1. Great site Politis! Are we really sure the Greek elections are more than a sideshow? We live here, sure. But will Greeks vote to cut off their financial lifeline? I sincerely doubt it.

  2. Maria Kyriakidou

    And from an artistic point of view, here is a notable photo collection from all the European election sites today!

  3. D W

    Papademos thinks not, Alec. But one can ask the same of any electoral cycle, US included.

  4. Papademos thinks Greece is not a sideshow or that Greeks wont vote to try and cut off their Memorandum-controlled foreign cash flow?

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