Greece’s future in the eurozone looks more secure, with parties committed to a bailout set to win a slim parliamentary majority after Sunday’s election.
Antonis Samaras, the leader of the New Democracy party which has most seats, says he wants to form a government as quickly as possible.
He will begin his second attempt to form a coalition after last month’s Greek election ended in stalemate.
The conservative politician’s wish was echoed by European Council President Herman Van Rumpuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel telephoned Samaras to congratulate him on his “good result”, making clear that she expects Greece to stick to its
The radical left Syriza party, which wanted to scrap debt-laden Greece’s international rescue package, came a close second. It had been vying for first place. It emerges emboldened however to continue opposing the punishing terms of the bailout.
The White House said it hoped the Greek election outcome would lead to the swift formation of a new government that will make “timely progress” on economic challenges.
The euro hit a three-week high against the U.S. dollar, rising to around $1.2730 in early Australasian Monday trade, from around $1.2655 late in New York on Friday. It hit its strongest since May 22 before giving up some gains.
“What stands out is how close SYRIZA came… so we expect some robust opposition to the austerity measures,” said Daragh Maher, currency strategist at HSBC in London. “Markets will be concerned about how narrow the margin of victory was for ND and any gains in the euro and other markets will be limited.”