Greek elections

I’m yet to find a decent analysis of the Greek election a week ago, which gave the centre-left Pasok Party their [largest victory ever](http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/05/world/europe/05greece.html).
Since my knowledge of Greek politics is limited to a vague awareness of [last winter’s riots](http://jimjay.blogspot.com/2008/12/guest-post-greek-fire.html), I’m stuck with not-particularly-informative media pundits. For starters, it seems nobody even has any idea why the election happened. The ruling ND party could have continued for another couple of years, but instead called elections that everybody expected them to lose. Why?
Was it because Prime Minister [Konstantinos Karamanlis](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kostas_Karamanlis) wanted out, on a personal level? (Many of his ministers didn’t want the election). Is there some impending disaster that he’d rather see blamed on the opposition? Or just that the recession will be painful, and it’s easier to dump that on Pasok?
The other question is why the centre-left won, when across the rest of europe they’re simultaneously disintegrating. As far as I can see the answers have little connection to Europe, or even to the dubious virtues of Pasok. The only international element is the economic collapse. Beyond that, it’s all Greek: the corruption, the unpopularity of Karamanlis, anger over December’s protests. Or something completely different, for all I know.
[normally when I write about something I know nothing about, I find myself learning a little in the process. Not this time]

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