ATHENS, Greece (CBS) -- Greece was the center of attention and top of the running order in European news bulletins and newspapers on Monday (June 18) after Greece's center-right New Democracy party came top in a narrow election victory which eased fears of a sudden Greek exit from the euro.
The euro rose and European stocks were poised to open higher after Sunday's vote and the Athens streets were quiet after New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras pledged to move swiftly to form a government.
While some European newspapers considered the results to be positive for the euro zone such as Italian daily Corriere della Sera, others were predicting gloomy days ahead for the Greeks such as British tabloid Daily Mail.
Apart from France who had their own legislative elections which gave a clear majority to the Presidential majority, European bulletins were opening on Greece in their morning bulletins.
In deep recession, crushed under its huge public debt and facing rising social tensions, Greece faces a daunting struggle to restore its battered economy and the new government may face a renewed wave of protests once it takes office.
The radical left SYRIZA bloc, which had promised to tear up the bailout deal signed in March with the European Union and International Monetary Fund, scored strongly in the election and promised to continue its opposition to the painful austerity measures demanded of Greece.
With just short of 100 percent of ballots counted, New Democracy had won 29.7 percent of the vote, ahead of SYRIZA on 27 percent, while PASOK had 12.3 percent.
A 50-seat bonus automatically given to the party which comes first would give a theoretical New Democracy-PASOK alliance 162 seats in the 300-seat parliament, enough for a majority broadly committed to the 130-billion-euro ($164 billion) bailout.
The result sent the euro to a one-month high and lifted Asian shares by 2 percent while financial spreadbetters also pointed to a 1.2 percent rise on London's FTSE index and similar rises on European bourses.
But gains in the markets were capped due to further questions over the debt crisis and over the finances of the bigger euro zone economies of Spain and Italy, which have seen borrowing costs rise near to unsustainable levels.