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article imageGreek President to attempt last effort to form unity government

By Katerina Nikolas     May 13, 2012 in Politics
Athens - Greek President Karolos Papoulias is to meet with party leaders at noon on May 13, in a last ditch attempt to form a coalition government. If his attempts fail then the country will go to second elections in June.
A statement was released by the President's office which said "The president will summon party leaders in a bid to form a government that will enjoy the backing of the parliamentary body that emerged from general elections on May 6” according to Greek Reporter. He will meet with Antonis Samaras of New Democracy, PASOK's Evangelos Venizelos, and Alexis Tsipras of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).
Since last Sunday's elections there have been three failed attempts to form a unity government, by each of the party leaders with the highest percentage of votes. Evangelos Venizelos came closest as he won the agreement of both New Democracy and the Democratic Left. However, negotiations broke down when Fotis Kouvelis, leader of the Democratic Left, refused to join a coalition government that did not include Syriza which won the second highest percentage of the vote.
Syriza has remained adamant that it will not support a government that will proceed with bailout loans. Syriza spokesman Panos Skourletis said "It is obvious that there is an effort to bring about a government that will implement the bailout. We are not participating in such a government." (The Telegraph) Tsipras is calling for austerity measures to be abandoned, believing that the EU cannot afford to force Greece out of the eurozone due to the risk of contagion.
Ekathimerini reports that following the President's meeting with the three party leaders he will then meet with the leaders of the other parties which were elected to parliament last week, These are Panos Kammenos of the nationalist Independent Greeks, Aleka Papariga of the Communist Party (KKE), Fotis Kouvelis of the Democratic Left, and Nikos Michaliolakos of the far-right Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn).
If no viable unity government can be arranged then the country will proceed to second elections.
More about Karolos Papoulias, Areopoli, SYRIZA
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