Greek coalition talks fall through
Greek politicians have once again failed to form a coalition government after Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left or SYRIZA, asserted his anti-austerity beliefs against socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos, who was hoping to form a national unity government in a bid to rescue Greece from its economic crisis.
Tsipras said that he would not form an alliance with a government that intended on implementing the “barbaric” terms of Greece’s international bailout agreement, which included higher taxes, plus pay and pension cuts in return for aid.
The SYRIZA leader’s refusal to join the “national unity government” also led to the withdrawal of Fotis Kouvelis and his small Democratic Left party – who earlier had proposed the coalition to rescue the country from its two loan deals – stating that they would not join the government without SYRIZA.
Antonis Samaras, leader of the conservative New Democracy party, which won the most votes but not enough for a workable majority, urged the SYRIZA party to agree to the coalition, stating the necessity for a “durable government”.
He said: “There must be a durable government. The SYRIZA party must participate or give a vote of tolerance. It’s in their hands to decide what they want to do.” Following the latest failure to form a coalition, Evangelos Venizelos is likely to return his mandate over the weekend, increasing the chances of the country having a new election next month.
The public currently supports Alexis Tsipras’ stance against the bailout agreement and the new election is more likely to work in his favour.
According to a poll released on Friday by Alpha TV, if the new elections were to be the held, Syriza – a coalition of leftists and greens – would emerge as the biggest party with 27%, a rise from 16.8% of the vote on Sunday.
Victory would give Mr Tsipras a bonus 50 seats and the probable ability to form a coalition with just one other party.