Greek election impasse sets lengthy instability in motion
ATHENS GREECE faces weeks of political turmoil that could scupper its financial bailout after voters angry at crippling income cuts punished mainstream politicians, let a farright extremist group into Parliament and gave no party enough votes to govern alone.
Greek conservative leader Antonis Samaras, whose proausterity party came first in national elections but fell well short of a governing majority, is now trying to form a new coalition government.
Samaras has three days in which to build an alliance, after receiving the formal mandate from President Karolos Papoulias on Monday. But initial exploratory talks with Alexis Tsipras, the 38-year-old head of the second-placed Radical Left Coalition party, failed, increasing fears that Samaras, or anyone else‚ will be unable to forge a new government that will command a majority in Parliament.
“The campaign positions of Samaras are at the opposite end of the alternative proposals of a left-wing government,” said Tsipras, who strongly opposes Greece’s bailout commitments.
“There can be no government of national salvation, as (Samaras) has named it, because his signatures and commitments to the loan agreement do not constitute salvation but a tragedy for the people and the country.”