Greek coalition talks enter third day | News | DW | 19.06.2012
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Greek coalition talks enter third day

Greece's political parties are meeting for a third day on Wednesday to try to hammer out a new governing coalition. Politicians hope for results by midday.

Greek leaders said the country was on the brink of forming a new government on Tuesday as power-sharing talks concluded on day two.

The conservative New Democracy party's leader, Antonis Samaras, has been leading discussions in an effort to seal a coalition deal with the socialist Pasok party and small modern Democratic Left party.

Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos was optimistic the cabinet talks would lead to a coalition being formed by "midday Wednesday."

"A government needs to be formed as fast as possible," Venizelos said in a televised statement. "Based on the situation right now, this can be achieved by midday tomorrow."

World waits as clock ticks

The world is eager to see a viable Greek government take over and provide stability. International creditors set to lend Greece the bailout funds, as well as European neighbors and the world markets, have been waiting for two months to see inertia end in Greece. They are also waiting for the country to adopt the promised reforms agreed to in the multi-billion dollar EU-IMF bailout deal.

The radical leftist Syriza party, which finished second on Sunday, has refused to join any coalition that will honor Greece's obligation under the bailout deal and its accompanying austerity measures.

A new government, therefore, will most likely revolve around Samaras' New Democracy, the winner of Sunday's election with 129 of 300 seats, alongside Pasok and the Democratic Left with their respective 33 and 17 seats.

Venizelos said PASOK would support the government "whole-heartedly" but had not yet decided what form its participation would take.

The leaders have until the end of Wednesday to broker a coalition deal.

tm/ng (AP, AFP, dpa, Reuters)