Socialists trounce conservatives in Greek election landslide

Socialists trounce conse

Greece's Socialist leader George Papandreou trounced the governing conservatives in a landslide election victory after a campaign focused on dramatically different visions of how to dig the country out of its worst economic crisis in years. Papandreou, a 57-year-old former foreign minister whose father and grandfather were both prime ministers, had insisted that Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' plans for austerity to face the international financial crisis were wrong. Instead, he offered a more optimistic solution, saying he would inject up to €3 billion ($4.4 billion) to reinvigorate Greece's economy. After a campaign fought almost exclusively on economic issues - and after widespread anger over repeated scandals had already whittled away support for Karamanlis' conservative government - voters were persuaded. Results from 97.53 percent of votes counted early Monday showed Papandreou's Panhellenic Socialist Movement, or PASOK, storming to victory with 43.95 percent, with Karamanlis' New Democracy trailing with 33.58 percent - the party's worst electoral showing ever.