Greece’s ruling Socialists have won the second round of a regional vote amid ongoing austerity measures and an EU-IMF economy audit.
The party of Prime Minister George Papandreou won in eight of the country’s 13 regions and also reclaimed the capital for the first time in over 20 years.
Papandreou hailed the vote as a ‘yes’ for his economic reforms.
“The Greek people today, and the previous Sunday, showed the way, requesting we continue our path to political and social stability,” Papandreou said in a televised address.
“They have rejected the Sirens of instability. Now, we have a clear three years before us to change Greece.”
In May, Greece requested a 110-billion-euro loan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to prevent its economy from collapsing.
Under the terms of that deal, Papandreou agreed to slash wages, public spending and pensions. His policies have sparked regular strikes and protests.
The new audit begins today to determine whether a nine-billion-euro installment of the loan will be released in December. Greece has so far received 30 billion euros out of the total support package that runs over three years.