Monday, May 27, 2019

Tsipras pitches Greece into early election after EU poll setback

by Kerin Hope

Financial Times

May 27, 2019

Alexis Tsipras wanted to be the first Greek prime minister in three decades to see out a full term in office — but heavy defeat for his ruling Syriza party in European parliamentary elections has prompted him to throw in the towel and pitch the country into an early poll.

The conservative opposition New Democracy party of Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be the favourite for the election, which is most likely to be held on June 30. New Democracy took 33 per cent of the vote in Sunday’s EU vote, compared with less than 24 per cent for Syriza.

Greek equity and bond prices rose on Monday as investors priced in the likelihood of a more business-friendly government in a country still recovering from a deep economic and social crisis. The benchmark 10-year bond yield dropped 32.6 basis points to 3.036 per cent, the lowest recorded since 2000, according to Bloomberg data.

Mr Tsipras was braced for defeat on Sunday but was taken aback by the scale of his party’s losses. Most opinion polls ahead of the vote had given the conservatives a lead of between 5.5 and 8 percentage points.


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