Final countdown starts for Greece to form coalition | News | DW | 15.05.2012
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Final countdown starts for Greece to form coalition

After nine days of failing to come to an agreement on forming a government following elections in Greece, party leaders will come together in Athens for one final push aimed at ending the impasse.

A meeting hosted by Greek President Carolos Papoulias is underway in Athens, attended by leaders from the top-five political parties from Greece's May 6 election.

On Monday, the president had proposed the formation of a government of technocrats as a way out of the country's political impasse. Socialist Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos said the talks Tuesday would be to agree on a government of "distinguished and non-political figures."

The extreme right Golden Dawn party was not invited to the talks, and the Communist Party opted not to come. The two parties won 21 and 26 seats respectively in Greece's 300-seat parliament.

Tuesday's meeting is meant to bring all the parties together in an effort to end a nine-day deadlock that has prevented a government from being formed. No party won an outright majority, and coalition talks so far have been hampered by the Syriza party's strict adherence to its anti-austerity line.

Few signs of compromise

Despite coming to the negotiating table, Syriza there are few signs that the party will compromise on its anti-austerity stance.

"They are looking for an accomplice to continue their catastrophic work? We will not help them," Syriza spokesman Panos Skourletis told Mega television after the most recent talks broke down.

Syriza, led by Alexis Tsipras, wants Greece to either reject completely or drastically renegotiate the terms of the two international bailout deals for the country.

Greece's parliament convenes Thursday, and if no agreement has been reached by then, new elections will be called for next month.

mz/ (AP, AFP)