Greek president set to urge unity government

Greece's president was set Saturday to call last-ditch talks in a bid to forge an emergency unity government and avoid fresh elections, after the main parties failed to form a working coalition.

Highly-indebted Greece is deeply torn over the tough austerity measures imposed as conditions for its IMF-EU bailouts, and the crisis has raised the threat it could default and leave the 17-member eurozone.

Legislative elections last Sunday saw voters punish the mainstream parties and left a fractured political landscape that has raised the spectre of new elections within weeks, amid intense EU pressure over Greek finances.

Socialist Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos said Friday he had failed in the latest bid to form a government, after radical leftist party Syriza refused to join a pro-austerity coalition with the socialists and conservatives.

The latest twist in the tortuous political drama came as EU paymaster Germany threatened to cut off the country's loan lifeline and hinted that the crisis-ridden eurozone could get along without Greece.

Venizelos was the third party leader who tried and failed to cobble together a government after the inconclusive elections.

"I am going to inform the president of the republic (Saturday) and I hope that during the meeting with Carolos Papoulias, each party will assume its responsibilities," Venizelos told reporters in Athens.

The head of state is then expected to urge party leaders to form a government of national salvation. If the parties cannot agree a compromise by next Thursday, new elections will have to be called.

Venizelos had been hoping to win the support of Syriza, a party deeply opposed to the terms of the 240 billion euro (311 billion dollar) EU-IMF bailout and which surged to second place in Sunday's vote.

Earlier, another possible ally, the small Democratic Left party, said it would not join a government made up of only Pasok and the conservative New Democracy party that did not include Syriza.

Earlier this week both Syriza and the New Democracy party failed in their own attempts to assemble a coalition government.

German leaders warned Friday that Athens could expect no more money without reforms and also suggested that the eurozone would cope if the cash-strapped country left the 17-member currency union.

Greece has already committed to finding in June another 11.5 billion euros in savings over the next two years. It also needs to redeem 436 million euros in maturing debt on May 15.

Brussels on Friday revised downwards its economic forecasts for the country at the epicentre of the eurozone debt crisis.

The European Commission said the economy is expected to contract by 4.7 percent this year and see zero growth next year.

Fitch credit rating agency warned that the emergence of a Greek government "unwilling or unable to abide by the terms of the current EU-IMF programme would increase the risk of Greece leaving the eurozone".

"If they are required, the re-run elections will therefore be a critical event for both Greece and for the eurozone," it said in a note.

An opinion poll published Friday showed that Syriza could even emerge as the victor if new elections are held in June.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires
    Sy moves up, Villar enters Forbes list of billionaires

    Eleven Filipinos are included in Forbes’ 2015 list of richest people in the world. Filipino-Chinese tycoon Henry Sy Sr. continues to be the wealthiest man in the Philippines. The 90-year-old SM supermalls, banking and property tycoon ranked 73rd among the world’s richest with an increased net worth of $14.2 billion from $11.4 billion last year. Sy’s net worth was attributed to the continued growth of his SM Investments Corp. and his more recent venture, the City of Dreams Manila resort and …

  • US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines
    US billionaire says WWII Japanese ship found in Philippines

    Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen said Wednesday he had found one of Japan's biggest and most famous battleships on a Philippine seabed, some 70 years after American forces sank it during World War II. Excited historians likened the discovery, if verified, to finding the Titanic, as they hailed the American billionaire for his high-tech mission that apparently succeeded after so many failed search attempts by others. Allen posted photos and video online of parts of what he said was the …

  • Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit
    Jolo apologizes to Bong in visit

    Cavite Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla wept and embraced his father as he apologized for the “accidental” shooting incident in their Ayala Alabang residence, the family’s spokesman said yesterday. Lawyer Raymund Fortun came out of the private room at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Muntinlupa City to speak to reporters, who were barred from entering the hospital compound during the visit of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. …

  • US ambassador slashed and bloodied in Seoul attack
    US ambassador slashed and bloodied in Seoul attack

    The US ambassador to South Korea, Mark Lippert, was slashed on his face and arm in Seoul on Thursday by a blade-wielding assailant opposed to ongoing US-Korean military drills. The United States condemned the "act of violence" which left the ambassador bleeding profusely as he was rushed to hospital, and said that President Barack Obama had spoken with him. Witnesses described how a man with a blade concealed in his right hand had lunged across a table at Lippert at a breakfast function at …

  • World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too
    World's oldest person wonders about secret to longevity too

    TOKYO (AP) — The world's oldest person says 117 years doesn't seem like such a long time. …

  • Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media
    Australian drug smugglers being taken to Indonesian island for execution - media

    By Jane Wardell and Beawiharta SYDNEY/DENPASAR, Indonesia (Reuters) - Two convicted Australian drug smugglers were removed from a prison in Bali on Wednesday to be taken to an Indonesian island where they will be shot by firing squad, Australian media reported. The planned executions of Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, have ratcheted up diplomatic tensions amid repeated pleas of mercy for the pair from Australia and thrown a spotlight on Indonesia's increasing use of the death …

  • Pacquiao big hit so far in Vegas sports books vs Mayweather

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — Manny Pacquiao has always believed he can do what 47 other fighters before him have failed to do — beat Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring. …

  • Another source of SAF execution video identified
    Another source of SAF execution video identified

    The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still tracing the source of the video showing one of the wounded police commandos being finished off by Muslim rebels during the encounter in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last Jan. 25. A source from the Department of Justice (DOJ) said they have identified two persons who first uploaded the video that went viral over social networking sites. The supposed source of the video was elusive and claimed that somebody just placed it on an external drive. The …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options