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Greek voters vent rage on major parties

The drubbing in parliamentary elections boosts political turmoil and raises questions over Greece's future in the euro zone.

Formed as a breakaway from New Democracy in February, when leader Panos Kammenos refused to agree to EU austerity terms, Independent Greeks garnered 10.6 percent of the vote, to command 33 legislative seats. SRYIZA has stated a willingness to form a collation with the party.

It’s uncertain how far such minority parties could threaten new austerity measures, due to be implemented in June, demanded by the troika of the European Central Bank, IMF and EU that have underwritten Greece’s latest loan memorandum.

The EU and the IMF stated on Sunday that Greece must carry out the reforms for the sake of its economic recovery. But SYRIZA leader Tsipras promised to reject the austerity package in its current form since the parties that agreed to it are now in the minority.

The win by pro-growth socialist François Hollande in Sunday's French presidential election will provide a further boost for Greek voters opposed to austerity.

This has caused great uncertainty in financial markets. The value of the euro dived overnight and global stocks were pulled down.

Hollande may force German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has demanded fiscal discipline in Greece, to embrace some economic stimulus instead of all- out austerity, said Theodore Pelagidis, a political scientist at the University of Piraeus.

“It depends what the coming president of France will do, what his relationship with Chancellor Merkel and the Germans will be - maybe we will have some developments concerning economic policy in Europe. There is a small window, or opportunity, a glimmer of hope.”

On Monday, however, Germany rejected the idea of renegotiating the European stability pact, which would institutionalize strict budgetary discipline. The disagreement over how to address the crisis is setting up a showdown across the euro zone.

More from GlobalPost: Is a German 4th Reich emerging?

Braun reported from Berlin.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120507/greek-voters-vent-rage-major-parties