Greece To Hold Fresh Elections After Coalition Talks Fail
"The country is going again towards elections amid bad circumstances because some put their party interests above the national interests. Let's go towards the best and in God's name let's not go towards the worst," said Venizelos.
Greece has been without a government for the last nine days following elections held at the beginning of May failed to win any one party a clear majority. Greek President Karolos Papoulias mad a last-ditch effort to persuade parties to form a coalition government today. But his efforts were apparently blocked by Alexis Tsipras, who refused to share power with any party that supports the IMF/EU bailout.
Papoulias will now appoint a caretaker government until the next elections.
In recent days, Papoulias met with the three political leaders who seem to be more cooperative and ready to form a government, ie, Antonis Samaras of conservative New Democracy, Evangelos Venizelos of socialist PASOK, and Fotis Kouvelis of the democratic left party. His task was expected to be extremely difficult, because even though their parties have a marginal majority in the house, the three party leaders insist that in order to be succesful a new government must have clear majority in the house.
Alexis Tsipras’s radical-left wing SYRIZA party that came second in last week's elections has made it clear that it will not participate in any government with peaople that accepted and implimented severe austerity measures as part of a multi-billion euro bailout agreed by the previous government with the EU and IMF. Tzipras favours a unilateral deal break from the bailout, something that most analysts believe would lead Greece to bankruptcy, out of the eurozone and posibly out of the European Union.
Members of his party have even gone as far as to propose the expropriation of assets from citizens that earn more than 20000 Euros per year in order for Greece to repay debts.
Papoulias said that it is very important to form a government immediately, as Greece faces considerable challenges in May such as its representation at the meeting of the Ecofin, the forthcoming European leader’s summits, and the NATO summit. Furthermore a 435 million-euro bond matures on May 15, for which a new government might have to negotiate for an extension on the due dates.
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