Anti-austerity party attempts to form Greek coalition | News | DW | 08.05.2012
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Anti-austerity party attempts to form Greek coalition

After the winning party in Sunday's Greek parliamentary elections failed to form a coalition, the second-place party - which opposes the implementation of austerity measures - has its turn.

The second-place party in Greek elections from the weekend will get its chance Tuesday to build a parliamentary coalition after the first-place New Democracy party failed at the same task.

Greek President Karolos Papoulias is meeting with Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Radical Left Coalition, also known as Syriza, to give him a mandate to form a coalition. Syriza will then have three days to complete the task.

That job is easier said than done, with parties deeply divided over austerity measures that must be taken in order to receive the country's two international bailouts.

Creditors from the European Union and International Monetary Fund have demanded draconian austerity measures from Athens as a condition for receiving the emergency loans.

Syriza campaigned against the austerity measures, but is unlikely to form a coalition with the other parties who are against the austerity measures (such as the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, which won representation for the first time since the fall of the military dictatorship in 1974) because of major ideological differences.

The only two parties that are committed to implementing the terms of Greece's two sets of emergency loans, New Democracy and PASOK, won a combined 32.1 percent of the popular vote. Since November last year, Greece has been ruled by a coalition of the two parties.

A new government must be formed by May 17. Each party will be given a chance - in the order of the current election results - to form a coalition. Should no alliance be able to be formed, new elections will be called.

mz/al (AFP, AP)