Attempts to form a government in Greece have proved fruitless for a eighth day running. Talk of another snap general election and Greece's possible exit from the eurozone has consequently intensified.
Ever-widening political divisions kept Greece from resolving its leadership crisis on Monday as the anti-austerity party Syriza, which made big gains in the country's recent general election, refused to come to the negotiating table.
“They are looking for an accomplice to continue their catastrophic work ? We will not help them,´” Syriza spokesman Panos Skourletis told Mega television.
The socialist Syriza party, led by Alexis Tsipras, has refused to join any coalition, and wants Greece to either reject or drastically renegotiate the terms of international bailout deals for the country.
The failure to come to any agreement on the eighth day of talks has further raised the prospect of another general election being held in June. The consequent political uncertainty also shook the markets, with shares on the Athens Stock Exchange tumbling 4.4 percent iin afternoon trading. European shares decreased and Spanish and Italian bond yields rose.
Greece has been in political turmoil since its inconclusive election on May 6th intensified splits over how to deal with Greece's economic crisis and left politicians unable to forge a government. The stakes are rising every day, with the country predicted to run out of money as soon as next month and prospects of a default looming.
Many analysts are predicting that second elections will be inevitable. But they could see anti-austerity parties gaining support - Syriza is enjoying an increase in support since the latest polls, according to a survey published Monday. Syriza had the most public support at 20.5 percent in the poll, New Democracy trailed slightly behind with 19.4 percent, and PASOK came in third with 11.8 percent. The rise in popularity of anti-austerity parties could increase the likelihood of Greece's exit from the eurozone.
sej/pfd (AP, Reuters)