WORLD NEWS

What’s at stake as 6 European nations vote

May 7, 2012, 12:31 AM

(AP) – Six European countries held elections Sunday. Here is a quick look at what was at stake:

_FRANCE: Socialist challenger Francois Hollande defeats incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy for the presidency by capitalizing on anger over austerity measures. As president, Hollande is expected to push for a more stimulus-minded approach to the financial crisis in France and the rest of Europe.

_GREECE: Greeks punish the two main parties in parliamentary elections, with official projections showing both hemorrhaging support and no party gaining enough votes to form a government. The results could affect the country’s course as it grapples with a debt crisis that has shaken world markets.

_SERBIA: Polls show pro-European Union candidate Boris Tadic and nationalist opponent Tomislav Nikolic are headed for a presidential runoff, while the ruling pro-Western party is likely to form the next coalition government. The outcomes could affect Serbia’s relations with the EU as well as Kosovo.

_GERMANY: Exit polls show voters in Germany’s northernmost state have likely ousted a governing center-right government made up of the same parties as the federal coalition, a blow to Chancellor Angela Merkel. About 2.24 million people were eligible to vote in Schleswig-Holstein state.

_ITALY: It’s the nation’s first election since Premier Mario Monti was tapped to save Italy from its debt crisis. The vote could gauge public anger against parties supporting his austerity measures. Some 9.5 million Italians were eligible to vote Sunday and Monday for 942 city councils and mayorships.

_ARMENIA: Some 2.5 million Armenians are eligible to vote for a new parliament. President Serge Sarkisian’s Republican Party was expected to win, but it wants the majority in the 131-seat parliament to avoid having to form a coalition. Results were expected Monday.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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What’s at stake as 6 European nations vote