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Greek government reprimanded

Greek voters showed their displeasure with their scandal-ridden, center-right government Sunday, giving the socialist opposition a clear margin of victory in the European Parliament elections. With about 90 percent of the vote counted, the opposition PASOK was set to win nearly 37 percent of the vote, about 4 percent more than the governing New Democracy.

Although both main parties will likely end up with eight seats in the European body — 22 seats were at stake — the results are likely to strengthen the opposition's call for early national elections. New Democracy, which was reelected in September 2007, is currently clinging to a single-vote majority in Greece's national parliament, but has been paralyzed by financial and political scandals.

A number of small parties also gained from the government's unpopularity, especially the far-right LAOS party, which was set to win about seven percent of the vote, two seats, its best result ever. The Ecological Greens did not fare as well as had been expected based on pre-election polling, but are still expected to win enough votes to claim a seat in the parliament for the first time. The Greek Communist Party will win two seats and the Left Coalition one seat.