The votes are tallied. Greeks voted pro-austerity, but just barely. With nearly 100 percent of ballots counted, New Democracy won 29.7 percent of the vote, ahead of SYRIZA on 27 percent and PASOK on 12.3 percent. Oil rallied in electronic trading shortly after results were revealed, but gave up that ground shortly after. The problems that haunt Greece may continue as parliament remains heavily saturated by both pro-austerity and anti-austerity lawmakers.
The expectation of the continued stalemate between the two sides sent oil prices down to start the week, with West Texas Intermediate crude off over $1/bbl to $82.79 while wholesale gasoline prices also gave up ground in all regions, falling 3-6 cents per gallon at press time. The global benchmark Brent crude was down $1.48/bbl as well.
So while Greece has voted, it hasn't really picked a clear winner. The country obviously remains deeply divided. In a story I read earlier this morning, it was mentioned that in an investigative report a few years ago, many Greeks didn't know the difference between the public and private sectors, and that taxpayers funded the public sector. Perhaps this is why Greece can't seem to understand that its runaway spending and younger retirement days are over.
Either way, there could be major implications for Americans at the pump with this situation continuing to linger. If it's bad news about Greece, and a slower economic recover in the U.S., gas prices will likely continue to fall. If somehow Greece, Italy, and Spain all solve their debt issues, prices will rise, but realistically, the Europeans work very slowly at these processes, so for the short term I'll bet on oil prices well under $90, and that the national average will be between $3.40-$3.50 for July 4.
Meanwhile stateside, gas prices continue to plunge on the West Coast, with California, Oregon, and Washington, finally joining the rest of the nation paying in the $3 range at pumps. Mid-continent gas stations may feature rising gas prices (if at all) because of a refinery issue in Texas. We're keeping an eye on things. For immediate alerts about gas prices rising,
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