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 Obama Remembers Fallen Troops for Memorial Day

    President urges Americans this holiday weekend to 'take a moment and offer a silent word of prayer or public word of thanks' to country's veterans

    Upsurge of Migratory Traffic Across Sahara From West to North Africa

    A report by the International Organization for Migration finds more than 60,000 migrants have transited through the Agadez region of Niger between February and April

    UN Blocks Access to Journalist Advocacy Group

    United Nations has rejected bid from nonprofit journalist advocacy group that wanted 'consultative status,' ranking that would have given them greater access to UN meetings

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8954
    JPY
    USD
    109.65
    GBP
    USD
    0.6827
    CAD
    USD
    1.3037
    INR
    USD
    67.037

    Rates may not be current.