Leftist Fails to Form Greek Government, Elections Loom
Leftist leader Alexis Tsipras gave up his attempt to form a new government on Wednesday, pushing Greece closer to its second election in a few weeks, after voter rejection of an EU/IMF bailout plunged the country into crisis.
Last Sunday’s election, in which voters vented rage against mainstream parties over debt cutting measures imposed in exchange for the bailout, has caused deep political deadlock and brought European threats to eject Greece from the euro.
European governments kept the country solvent for the moment by agreeing to make a 4.2 billion euros payment on Thursday from the region’s bailout fund to enable Athens to meet short term bond redemptions. But, in a sign of growing displeasure at the impasse in Athens, a further 1 billion euros was withheld, probably until next month.
Radical Left Coalition leader Tsipras, given the second mandate to try to form a government since the election, gave up on Wednesday evening after both mainstream parties, conservative New Democracy and Socialist PASOK, refused to join an anti-bailout coalition.