Wednesday 9th May, 2012
Greece polls: Radical left party given mandate to form government
Big News Network.com Tuesday 8th May, 2012
ATHENS - After Greece's mainstream conservatives failed to cobble together a coalition, the radical leftist Syriza party was Tuesday given the mandate to start building a unity government.
Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Syriza party, said he will try to form a coalition based on tearing up the terms of the EU/IMF bailout deal. His party was the runners up in Sunday's vote.
Tsipras said that voters had "clearly nullified the loan agreement".
During a meeting Tsipras was formally tasked by Greek President Carolos Papoulias with forming a government.
"I called you to give you the Greek mandate to form a government," Papoulias said. He has been given three days to form a government.
Tsipras said he would seek to form a left-wing coalition to reject the "barbaric" measures of the EU-IMF loan agreement.
A new government has to be formed by May 17 or else the elections will be called.
Greece is in its fifth year of recession with unemployment at 20 per cent.
The conservative New Democracy and Pasok parties, which alternated in power since 1974, saw their share of votes plummet to 32.1 per cent on Sunday from 77.4 per cent in the last election as people voted for anti-austerity parties.
The defeat of the New Democracy party highlighted the public anger against the painful austerity measures.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the main mover of the austerity measures as the way out of the eurozone crisis, said it was "of utmost importance" that Greece stick to its reform path.
Syriza spokesman Panos Skourletis said the party would reject the EU-IMF deal and seek an understanding with Greece's EU neighbours on making the country's massive debt sustainable.
"We need to find a European solution on the debt after setting the (loan agreement) aside," AFP quoted him as telling Flash Radio.