ATHENS, Greece — Greece's governing Socialists emerged the winner of local government elections, despite a record low turnout and renewed pressure on the crisis-hit nation to impose a new round of drastic spending cuts.
With 99.6 percent of the vote counted nationwide, the Socialists won mayoral races in Athens and Greece's second largest city, Thessaloniki, for the first time in 24 years.
Its candidates won eight of 13 races for regional governor, including greater Athens — giving Prime Minister George Papandreou a badly needed boost amid recession and rising unemployment.
Most races were decided in Sunday's runoffs, after a first round of voting on Nov. 7.
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