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    • Syriza set to win Greek election but just short of majority ? live updates

      The Clash?s London?s Calling is being played at the Syriza victory party in Athens.

      The ice age is coming, the sun?s zooming in
      Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin
      Engines stop running, but I have no fear
      ?Cause London is drowning, and I live by the river

      A GuardianWitness user in Greece has spoken of their elation and concerns after voting for Syriza.

      I voted for SYRIZA, the left-wing party that seems to be winning the elections in Greece. I am elated and worried at the same time. I am elated because the progressive political domain I traditionally belong in seems to be achieving a historical victory. On the other hand, I am worried because, despite Alexis Tsipras´ declared intentions to fight against austerity, the conservative political forces in Europe seem irremovably positioned against that prospect.

      What I can say with certainty, if you allow me to interpret the outcome of the elections in Greece, is that the Greek people definitely voted against the effort the memorandum-friendly elements -both domestic (current governing party and current P.M., Mr. Samaras) and foreign- made to intimidate them and ´manipulate´ their voting by exercising terror on them, focusing on words like ´bankrupcy´, ´destruction´, ´horror´ etc. If nothing else, the Greek people proved that they won´t be intimitated and for that I am proud -no matter what happens henceforth.

      Sent via GuardianWitness

      With almost a third of the results in, Syriza is now course for 147 seats ? four short of a majority.

      #Greece 31.88% of total:Syriza 35.55(147), ND 28.73(79), GolDawn 6.38(17), Potami 5.71(16), KKE 5.34(15), Pasok 4.96(13), IndGr 4.68(13)

      Only possible allies for SYRIZA seem to be Potami & Independent Greeks. Working with either not a simple proposition #Greece #ekloges2015

      Even with a slim majority, SYRIZA will need allies, whether in form of a coalition or through support in Parliament #Greece #ekloges2015

      Greece?s interior ministry predicts that Syriza will be the clear victor but fall just short of an outright majority of seats with 150 out of the 300 on offer.

      @FionaMullenCY @oditorium @polemitis official projection from #Greece´s interior ministry (seats distribution)

      There?s been more grumbling from Germany, according to Louise Osborne in Berlin.

      The head of Germany?s eurosceptic party Alternative für Deutschland, Bernd Lucke, has called for a haircut for Greece, although he said it must be accompanied with an exit from the euro, according to reports from the Berlin newspaper the Tagesspiegel.

      ?Syriza doesn?t question the euro, but demands further debt relief and more loans. That doesn?t fit together,? he said.

      Whether Syriza has done enough to secure a majority of seats is still in doubt, but that hasn?t stopped its supporters celebrating.

      With a fifth of the results in, Syriza?s lead is narrowing, and so far short of the 37% it needs for an all-out majority of seats.

      Official results @ 20% of votes SYRIZA 35.2 ND 29.14 G Dawn 6.3 Potami 5.65 KKE 5.3 PASOK 5.2 Ind Greeks 4.6 Kinima 2.5 #Greece #ekloges2015

      Former prime minister George Papandreou has urged Syriza to seek national consensus even if it emerges with an all out majority.

      ?No party, even with a majority, can handle [the] current situation alone,? he is quoted as saying at a press conference.

      Papandreou: No party, even with majority, can handle current situation alone" #greece #ekloges2015

      MT @VeriasA: "We respect the decision of the people...We believe we´ll be in the new Parliament" -#Papandreou #ekloges #Greece

      Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann has called on Greece to stick to its agreements.

      He said he hoped the new government would not make promises the country could not afford, Reuters reports, citing an interview with the broadcaster ARD.

      With 14% of ballots counted, Syriza is now predicted to fall one seat short of an all-out majority.

      actual results with 14% ballots counted: syriza 34.9, ND 25.9, xa 6.2, potami 5.6 potami, pasok 5.5, kke 5.3

      #Greece | MetronAnalysis´ acclaimed pollster Fanaras forecasts 150 seats for Syriza, one short of outright majority. #ekloges2015

      Projection of Parliament seats based on true results MT @publicissue: #ekloges2015 ???????? ????? ? ??? 20:45 #Greece

      Germany has insisted that Greece needs to stick with the austerity programme, whatever the result, writes Louise Osborne in Berlin.

      Philipp Mißfelder, foreign policy spokesman for the ruling CDU/CSU parliamentary group, says there is a worry in Germany about a shift to populist movements in Europe that are ?very bad for Europe and for the euro?.

      ?This kind of protest is not a surprise, people are unhappy about the austerity measures, not only in Greece but also in countries like Italy. But I think Syriza shouldn?t expect Germany to renegotiate with the programmes. They have to stick with what the former government has promised,? he said.

      The second wave of exit polls now suggests that Syriza could fall short of an all-out majority of seats.

      Looks like #Syriza´s absolute majority in Parliament will be a thriller to end early in the morning #ekloges2015 #greeceElections

      #Greece Athens 2st district results (2.3%): Syriza 37.7, ND 24.8, Potami 7.5, KKE 7.4, GDawn 5.6, ANEL 4.9, PASOK 3.5, KDS 2.1 #ekloges2015

      Syriza lead over New Democracy may not be quite as large as first predicted, according to an update exit poll. It puts Syriza 10 points ahead of New Democracy.

      Updated Main Exit Poll (1 of 2) SYRIZA 36 ? 38 ND 26 - 28 Golden Dawn 6 - 7 To Potami 6 - 7 #Greece #ekloges2015

      With 100% of data processed: MRB exit poll for Star TV, give Syriza 10-point win, seat projection 148-154 #Greece

      Syriza supporters have started dancing.

      Foreign reporters filming an old couple dancing at #syriza tent. Spirit starts getting festive #ekloges2015

      But other European politicians have passed on congratulations to Syriza. One of the first was the Italian minister Sandro Gozi.

      Congratulations to @AlexisTsipras ready to work with new greek gvt for a more democratic and political Union @DipPoliticheUE @pdnetwork

      The sniping from Europe?s elite has already begun.

      Sweden?s former prime minister Carl Bildt claims that taxpayers in other European countries will have to foot the bill for Syriza?s victory.

      Syriza in Greece has won the election by promising that taxpayers in other Euro counties will pay even more to them. Rather daring.

      If the result is confirmed, Syriza would become the first anti-austerity party in government in Europe, AFP points out.

      A Syriza victory is likely to send shockwaves through the austerity-hit EU and spark fears that Greece could leave the euro.

      Syriza wants to renegotiate the terms of Greece?s ?240bn bailout with the EU and the International Monetary Fund which the party says is stifling any chance Greece has of recovering from a six-year recession.

      The exit polls suggest that the far-right neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn could come in third place despite nine of its 16 MPs being held in jail on charges of extortion and weapons possession.

      #Greece Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn and centrist party To Potami fighting it out for position of third place, according to Skai TV.

      Just as Syriza has all but declared victory, a government minister has virtually conceded defeat.

      AP?s Derek Gatopoulos quotes health minister Makis Voridis as saying: ?What I see from exit polls is Syriza has won, and we congratulate them.? Voridis was the founder of the now defunct far-right Hellenic Front.

      One step from conceding: Health Minister Makis Voridis: ""What I see from exit polls is Syriza has won, and we congratulate them" #Greece

      Syriza gets close to declaring victory by tweeting that ?hope has won? following the release of those stunning exit polls.

      ? ?????? ??????! #syriza #ekloges2015

      A third exit poll by Kapa appears to confirm that Syriza is heading for a big win.

      (1 of 2) Here´s how the Kapa #ExitPoll translates to seats in parliament #Greece #ekloges Syriza 148-154 ND 70-78 G.Dawn 16-20 Potami 16-19

      (2 of 2) KKE 15-17 Pasok 12-14 Ind.Grks 10-12 GPap 0-8 #Greece #ekloges #ExitPoll -Kapa Research

      Another exit polls suggest Syriza could have secured more than 40% of the vote.

      Pulse Exit Poll for Action24 (1 of 2) SYRIZA 34.5 ? 40.5 ND 24.5 - 30.5 To Potami 5 - 8 Golden Dawn 4.5 - 7.5 #Greece #ekloges2015

      Pulse Exit Poll for Action24 (2 of 2) PASOK 4 - 7 KKE 3.5 - 6.5 Independent Greeks 2.5 - 5.5 Kinima 1.5 - 4.5 #Greece #ekloges2015

      Exit polls suggest that Syriza is likely to get between 146-155 in the 300-seat parliament, Helena Smith reports from Athens.

      Giorgos Kyrtos, veteran political commentator ? and now Euro MP for the conservative New Democracy party ? is calling it a ?historic moment? for the radical leftists.

      There were scenes of jubilation at Syriza?s main electoral office in central Athens.

      #ekloges2015 #Syriza exit poll results are announced

      The Skai TV exit poll predicts that Syriza could secure 155 seats, according to the Guardian?s Helena Smith.

      This would amount to a massive rejection of austerity and mean Syriza could govern on its own, avoiding a potentially tricky coalition with one of the other parties.

      #Greece Syriza on course to win absolute majority with as many as 155 seats, according to SKAI TV.

      #Greece "this is a sweeping victory, we believe we´ll have a clear mandate to form a government," Syriza MP tells Skai TV

      Skai TV exit poll #Greece #ekloges2015 #exitpoll Syriza 36-39 ND 24-27 Potami 6,5-8,5 GDawn 6-8 KKE 5-7 Pasok 4-6 Ind.Grks 2,5-4,5 GPap 2-3

      More exit polls suggest something of a Syriza landslide.

      Kapa Research Exit Poll for @tovimagr (1 of 2) SYRIZA 33.5 ? 37.5 ND 25 - 28 Golden Dawn 5.5 - 7.5 To Potami 5 - 7 #Greece #ekloges2015

      Skai exit poll. #Greece #ekloges2015

      Jubilation erupts in Syriza tent as landslide result predicted by exit poll

      The exit polls suggest Syriza could win as many as 158 seats, enough for an outright majority. But they could also fall just short of 150 seats in the 300-seat parliament. Either way, the poll points to a big win for Syriza, but this is still just a projection at this stage.

      Erdrutschsieg für #Syriza #GreekElections

      The exit polls suggest Syriza could secure an outright majority.

      First exit polls from #GreekElections . #ekloges2015. Syriza 39%

      The first exit polls suggest a big win for Syriza. One gave the party a lead of more than 12%.

      EXIT POLL SYRIZA 35,5-39,5 ND 23-27 Potami 6,4-8 Golden Dawn 6,4-8 KKE 4,7-5,7 PASOK 4,2-5,2 Ind.Greeks 3.5-4.5 Kinima 2,2-3,2 #ekloges2015

      Combined exit polls: SYRIZA 35.5-39%; ND 23-27; Potami 6.4-8; GD 6.4-8; KKE 4.7-5.7; PASOK 4.2-5.2; Ind Grks 3.5-4.5 #ekloges2015

      That?s it, voting over. Now for the exit polls.

      Syriza is reported to be lining up Costas Karamanlis ? a critic of austerity and a former Conservative prime minister as Greece?s new president.

      Beware Greeks bearing exit polls. Wait for the real results.

      Beware the exit polls, not just the leaked ones, warns the BBC?s Yannis Koutsomitis.

      #Greece | 20 mins to poll close and official exit polls release. Note: Exit polls are not results. Have failed miserably in previous elex.

      Exit polls from Greece at 7pm local time (5pm UK). They should be taken with a pinch of salt, as should even-less-reliable rumours/leaks.

      People following #ekloges2015 in #Greece remember: many suburban & rural areas not always covered in most exit polls, yet they matter most!

      There are set to be four main exit polls just after the polls close in half an hour, according to Manos Giakoumis, chief analyst at the thinktank Macro Polis.

      4 exit polls @ 5pm (UK). The main from 5 TV channels, Macedonia Uni 4 Skai, Pulse 4 Action24 & Kapa Research 4 ToVima. #Greece #ekloges2015

      Some "exit poll" leaks show a SYRIZA-ND difference >10% and a battle for 3rd. Real exit polls out in 30mins #greeceElections #ekloges2015

      Exit polls in 40 mins might clear up some of speculation about Greek elections but they have been off in recent years #Greece #ekloges2015

      Anecdotal evidence suggests that New Democracy ? the dominant force in prime minister Antonis Samaras? outgoing coalition ? is haemorrhaging votes to Syriza, writes Helena Smith in Athens.

      The pattern of voting looks to be following May?s European election, which saw Syriza topping the poll.

      Several Greeks have told the Guardian they would be switching vote.

      With just over an hour to go before polls close, this chart helps explain how the percentage of the vote necessary to secure a majority varies depending on how many of the smaller parties reach the 3% threshold necessary to secure a seat (see earlier).

      Greece exit polls out at 5pm (London time). Worth keeping this @MacroPolis_gr chart with % needed for maj. to hand

      The New Democracy party have demanded a judicial inquiry into leaked early exit polls that supposedly put Syriza as much as 12 or even 14 points ahead, according to the English website of the Kathimerini newspaper.

      This does give the exit poll a little more credence, but it should still be treated with caution, according to Jon Henley in Athens.

      Nea Dimokratia denounces exit poll leaks of up to 14% lead of SYRIZA.No smoke without fire #ekloges2015 #ekloges #greeceElections

      Germany is bracing itself for the results, writes Louise Osborne in Berlin.

      The country?s biggest daily, Bild, claims Syriza no longer wants conditions to be dictated by Europe, and that therefore ?all that remains for the Greeks is an exit from the eurozone and a return to the drachma?.

      While we enter the final 90 minutes of polling why not check to see if your finances are any more robust than Greece?s?

      Monitors representing Syriza in polling stations around Athens say they are very exited by unofficial exit polls that give the leftists a much bigger lead than thought, writes Helena Smith.

      As the vote is still under way no one wants to go on the record ? quite yet. But reports are being confirmed by analysts, who put the difference at as much as 12 percentage points (38-26) ? an outcome that would likely give Alexis Tsipras? Syriza party an outright majority in Athens? 300-seat House.

      Greece?s incumbent prime minister, Antonis Samaras, is apparently hunkered down in his office with top cadres from his conservative New Democracy party. The mood in the New Democracy camp according to the Greek media ?is anything but good?.

      Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras was in a buoyant mood as he cast his vote, writes Jon Henley in Athens.

      Surrounded by a throng of reporters and chanting supporters, Tsipras declared election day to be the ?last step of the Greek people towards regaining social cohesion and dignity?.

      Europe?s future was ?not the future of austerity ? it is the future of democracy, solidarity and cooperation,? he added.

      Tsipras: "Today is the last step of the Greek people towards regaining their dignity"

      It is still far too early to start predicting results, but early leaked exit polls suggest a good night ahead for Syriza. One puts Syriza 6% ahead, another give the party a staggering 12% lead.

      #Greece Far left Syriza heading to poss LANDSLIDE. Random exit polls giving it 12 pt lead, analysts tell me #ekgloges2015

      By which is meant: ignore any exit polls "leaked" before 7pm Athens time. I certainly will, as always #ekloges2015

      #Greece | RIA Novosti claims to have early exit polls: Take it with a pinch of salt | #ekloges2015

      Confused by how the Greek election system works? The Irate Greek explains a rule of thumb over what percentage of the vote will be enough to secure a majority of the 300 parliamentary seats. It all depends on how many of the smaller parties reach the 3% threshold necessary to secure a seat.

      To determine the percentage of nationwide votes needed to secure a majority, you should deduct from 100% the percentage of valid votes obtained by parties who did not reach the 3% threshold and multiply the percentage left by 0.404.

      If parties who did not reach the 3% threshold obtained 8.5% of all valid votes nationwide, the minimum percentage of votes needed to secure a majority in parliament is (100%-8.5%)*0.404 = 36.96%

      If all parties running get into parliament, the threshold for outright victory is just over 40%, but the majority drops depending on how many votes go to parties that fail to clear the 3% entry threshold
      If, for example, 5% of the vote goes to parties that fail to get into parliament, the margin for victory could be around 38%.
      If there is no outright winner, president Karolos Papoulias gives the leader of the biggest party a mandate to form a coalition or gain agreement for a minority government. Should this fail, the exploratory mandate is handed to the second party, and then to the third.
      If the parties cannot agree, the president holds a final meeting with party leaders. If they still cannot agree, he appoints a caretaker government to call new elections.

      Welcome to our live coverage of the final stages of an election that could have profound consequences for Greece and the future of Europe.

      The main contest is between the frontrunner Syriza ? the leftwing opposition party led by Alexis Tsipras, and the governing centre-right New Democracy party led by prime minister Antonis Samaras.

      Continue reading...
    • Jewish leaders call for Europe-wide legislation outlawing antisemitism
      Proposal would criminalise activities such as banning the burqa, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and Holocaust denial

      European Jewish leaders, backed by a host of former EU heads of state and government, are to call for pan-European legislation outlawing antisemitism amid a sense of siege and emergency feeding talk of a mass exodus of Europe?s oldest ethnic minority.

      A panel of four prestigious international experts on constitutional law backed by the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR) have spent three years consulting widely and drafting a 12-page document on ?tolerance?. They are lobbying to have it converted into law in the 28 countries of the EU.

      Continue reading...
    • Farage accused of smearing Ukip defector amid attack on his integrity

      Tories rubbish claim of Amjad Bashir suspension by Ukip as George Galloway says he also once stood for Respect party

      The Ukip leader, Nigel Farage, has been accused of engaging in a ?desperate? smear operation after he launched a withering attack on the integrity of one of his MEPs who defected to the Tories.

      Grant Shapps, the Conservative chairman, said claims that Ukip was about to suspend Amjad Bashir before he jumped ship were ?complete nonsense? and that the Conservatives were satisfied Bashir had a clean record.

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    • Japanese PM stands firm on foreign policy after Isis hostage murder
      Shinzo Abe says Japan will continue to play active role abroad after ?unforgivable? killing of Haruna Yukawa by Islamic State

      Japan?s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has vowed his country will continue to play an active and constructive role abroad, undeterred by the execution of a Japanese security contractor by Islamic State extremists.

      The apparent beheading of Haruna Yukawa has shocked Japan and intensified anxiety over the fate of another hostage, Kenji Goto, a freelance journalist. However, there is little consensus on how to respond.

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    • Cameron willing to take part in TV election debates, say Conservatives
      Conservative party chairman says politicians and broadcasters ?edging towards a solution? but further talks were needed

      The Conservatives have signalled that David Cameron is willing to take part in televised leaders? debates following the publication of revised plans from broadcasters.

      Grant Shapps, the Tory party chairman, said that the politicians and broadcasters were ?edging towards a solution? and, when asked whether he was saying yes or no to Cameron turning up, he replied: ?It?s a yes.?

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