In the past few days, there have been so many changes, transfers, counter-transfers and mergers on the Greek political scene that it has all become a little confusing, even for experienced observers of Greek politics. While this phenomenon can be interpreted as simple, cheap politicking by individuals seeking to secure their re-election in June, careful examination of the backgrounds of some politicians also reveals a worrying tendency to mainstream and trivialize the opinions and positions of personalities who, by all reasonable standards, belong to the extreme-right.
Below is an English-language summary of the transcript of the meeting held on 15/05/2012 between the President of the Republic, Karolos Papoulias, and the leaders of Nea Demokratia (Antonis Samaras), SYRIZA (Alexis Tsipras), PASOK (Evangelos Venizelos), Independent Greeks (Panos Kammenos) and Democratic Left (Fotis Kouvelis) in a last-ditch attempt to form a coalition government after the failure of consultations held on 13/05/2012 and 14/05/2012. The leader of the Communist Party (Aleka Papariga) declined to attend, while the leader of neo-nazi Golden Dawn (Nikolaos Michaloliakos) was not invited.
The original transcript of the meeting as published by the presidency can be found here.
The original minutes published by the presidency can be found here.
Updated post here.
In Greek elections, voters select the ballot paper of the political party of their choice, then tick the names of those candidates they support (between 1 and 4, depending on the size of the constituency).
Blank and spoiled ballot papers are not counted.
Parties must earn at least 3% of valid votes to enter parliament. For those who pass the 3% threshold, 250 of the 300 seats are allocated on a strictly proportional basis. The remaining 50 seats are allocated as a “bonus” to the party that obtains the highest number of votes nationwide.
A party or coalition needs 151 seats to secure a majority in parliament and be able to form a government.
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.