Herman Van Rompuy and José Manuel Barroso, said that they would “continue to stand by Greece as a member of the European Union family” and of the eurozone.
After about two-thirds of votes had been counted on Sunday evening (17 June), official projections put the centre-right New Democracy party on 30.1% of the vote, giving it 130 seats, the hard-left anti-bail-out party Syriza on 26.5%, winning 70 seats, and Pasok, the centre-left party, on 12.6%, with 33 seats.
Antonis Samaras, the leader of New Democracy, called for a “national salvation government” and will now work to form a coalition. According to the provisional projections, New Democracy – which gains 50 extra seats as the winning party – and Pasok would have enough seats to form a government with a slim majority.
Rompuy and Barroso, both in Mexico for a summit meeting of leaders of the G20 group of countries, said that they were “hopeful” that a government would be formed quickly.
“We salute the courage and resilience of the Greek citizens, fully aware of the sacrifices which are demanded from them to redress the Greek economy and build new, sustainable growth for the country,” they said.
They said that they looked forward to working with the new government “and to support the continued efforts of Greece to put its economy on a sustainable path”.
Their joint statement also said: “The second economic adjustment programme agreed between Greece and the Eurogroup [the eurozone finance ministers] is the basis upon which to build to foster growth, prosperity and jobs for the Greek people.
“We stand ready to continue assisting Greece in achieve these goals.”
Wolfgang Schäuble, the finance minister of Germany, also welcomed the outcome, saying that his government considered the result a decision by Greece's voters “to forge ahead with the implementation of far-reaching economic and fiscal reforms”.
He said that Greece's bail-out programme aimed to “put the country back on the path of economic prosperity and stability”.
“This path will be neither short nor easy but is necessary and will give the Greek people the prospect of a better future,” he said in a statement.
New Democracy and Pasok said that they wanted to keep to the €130 billion bail-out in place but would seek to renegotiate some of the austerity conditions. On Sunday evening, Samaras said that Greece would abide by its “obligations”. Syriza fought the election stating that the terms of the bail-out were invalid.
Alex Tsipras, the leader of Syriza, appeared to rule out the prospect of joining a grand coalition, saying on Sunday evening that the party would “not sacrifice our position”.
He told his supporters in Athens: “The policies of austerity have been defeated. They will not be able to push forward with them either in Greece or Europe.”
Samaras said that Greece had voted to “stay on the European course and remain in the eurozone”.
“There will be no more adventures,” he added. “Greece's place in Europe will not be put in doubt.”
Samaras said that the sacrifices of the Greek people would “bring the country back to prosperity”.
Evangelos Venizelos, the leader of Pasok, called for a coalition of the four largest parties, New Democracy, Pasok, Syriza and the Democratic Left.
“No decision can be taken without this national unity,” Venizelos said.
The finance ministers of the 17 countries that use the euro next meet on Thursday (21 June), in Luxembourg.