Greek leftists seek coalition repealing bailout | News | DW | 08.05.2012
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Greek leftists seek coalition repealing bailout

The party charged with the task of forming Greece's new government has said it will scrap international bailout agreements if it can form a government. But whether they will achieve the latter is unclear.

The leader of Greece's left-wing party Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, said Tuesday that he would reject all EU and IMF-backed austerity measures should his party succeed in forming a coalition, after Greece's general election launched the country into fresh political turmoil.

"The public verdict has clearly nullified the loan agreement and (pledges) sent to Europe and the IMF," Alexis Tsipras said in a broadcasted speech. "There is no way we will attempt to sneak back what the Greek people threw out in the election," he added.

Instead Syriza has appealed to the country's mainstream parties to withdraw their support for the painful diet of budget cuts prescribed for the country by European leaders. The cuts were preconditions for the country to receive installments of its two sets of emergency loans granted by the EU and IMF.

72 hours to make a deal

Syriza, which came second in the Greek elections over the weekend, was given the opportunity to try and form a coalition government Tuesday after the conservative New Democracy party, which came first in the elections, abandoned the task. Syriza, like the conservatives who gave up within a few hours, have been granted up to three days to reach a coalition deal.

Whether they will succeed is unclear; Greece's constellation of political blocks is deeply divided over austerity measures that the country is obliged to undertake in order to receive two international bailouts from the IMF and EU.

And although Syriza's opposition to budget cuts is clear, they are unlikely to form a coalition with other anti-austerity parties - such as the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party, which won representation for the first time since the fall of military dictatorship in 1974 - because of ideological differences.

The deadline for the formation of a new government is May 17. The chance to form a coalition will pass in turn to every party, in the order of the election results. In the event that no party can form a coalition, new elections will be called.

sej/msh (AFP, AP, dpa)