News / Economy

Greek Political Leaders Fail to Form Government

Socialist PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos (R) and Greece's Left Coalition party head Alexis Tsipras shake hands during their meeting at the parliament in Athens, May 11, 2012.Socialist PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos (R) and Greece's Left Coalition party head Alexis Tsipras shake hands during their meeting at the parliament in Athens, May 11, 2012.
x
Socialist PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos (R) and Greece's Left Coalition party head Alexis Tsipras shake hands during their meeting at the parliament in Athens, May 11, 2012.
Socialist PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos (R) and Greece's Left Coalition party head Alexis Tsipras shake hands during their meeting at the parliament in Athens, May 11, 2012.
VOA News

Greek political leaders have failed to form a coalition that would resolve a political impasse and avert the need for new elections.

Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos made the announcement Friday after the Radical Left Coalition, or Syriza, refused to join the Socialists and conservatives due to a disagreement on the country's economic austerity program.

The Socialist and conservative New Democracy parties have proposed a gradual phasing out of the tough measures imposed by the European Union and IMF in exchange for a bailout loan. The leftists want them canceled immediately. If there is no lasting agreement by May 17, new elections will be called.

"Arrogance and petty party politics with a view toward elections are not suitable at this critical moment. Even if elections are repeated, what is going to change from this attitude? Nothing. The moment of truth is here for everyone. I will inform the president tomorrow afternoon. I hope everybody shows maturity and responsibility in consultations with the president,'' said Venizelos.

Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras said the Greek people voted against the austerity measures imposed by the European Union and IMF, and that their will cannot be ignored.

"It is not the Left Coalition that has refused this proposal, but the Greek people who did so with their vote on Sunday.''

Greek voters punished both the Socialists [PASOK] and New Democracy for having pushed through the tough economic austerity measures in return for huge international loans to avert bankruptcy.

Venizelos is the third Greek leader who tried and failed to form a government after Sunday's inconclusive election.  

Earlier Friday, Venizelos met with the leader of the Conservative Party, Antonis Samaras, for talks on a coalition government. Another possible ally, the small Democratic Left party, said it would not join a government made up only of Socialists and the conservative New Democracy party that did not include Syriza.

President Karolos Papoulias is expected to call on parties to form an emergency coalition to govern until new elections are held.  

New Democracy won the most parliamentary seats in Sunday's election, followed by the Radical Left and the Socialists. But no party won enough seats to be able to put together a new government on its own.

Syriza leader Tsipras had called on the two parties to renounce their support for the deep spending cuts, but could not get enough support in parliament to hammer out a coalition.

European Union leaders are pressuring Greece to carry through with the austerity plans. Germany warned Friday that Greece will get no more money without reforms and that the eurozone can survive if the cash-strapped country leaves Europe's 17-member currency union.
 

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7492
JPY
USD
102.27
GBP
USD
0.5960
CAD
USD
1.0950
INR
USD
61.300

Rates may not be current.