- Associated Press - Sunday, May 6, 2012

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, Mr. 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. The nation of 7.1 million people in southeast Europe held presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections. The outcomes could affect Serbia’s relations with the European Union as well as Kosovo, a one-time province whose declaration of independence Serbia has refused to accept.

Germany. Exit polls show voters in Germany’s northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein likely have 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.

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 were eligible to vote for a new parliament in an election the nation’s president hoped would give him a legislative majority. 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.



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