With Greece hurtling toward new elections and a possible exit from the euro zone, President Karolos Papoulias prepared to make a last-ditch appeal on Monday for the country’s sharply divided political parties to form a unity government even as his hopes for success all but evaporated over the weekend. The leaders of Greece’s main political parties remained adamant in their positions on the country’s debt agreement with foreign lenders, making a unity coalition appear impossible and new elections all but inevitable. Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left, refused on Sunday to take part in any government that would go through with the harsh austerity measures required in the debt deal, saying that Greek voters had resoundingly rejected austerity in elections on May 6. The parties that favor preserving the debt deal lack enough seats in Parliament to govern on their own, and Mr. Papoulias spent Sunday trying to persuade several smaller parties to join them.
On Monday, Mr. Tsipras said he objected to a meeting proposed by the president with “selected party leaders” from the conservative and Socialist pro-bailout parties and the head of a smaller moderate leftist party. He said he would meet with Mr. Papoulias on Monday only if he could do so on his own, or with the leaders of all the Greek parties, excluding the extreme-right Golden Dawn. The meeting between the Mr. Papoulias and party leaders was not expected until after 7:30 p.m. local time.
The Greek crisis was expected to dominate discussions in Brussels as European finance ministers were to meet on Monday. European leaders have warned that if Greece does not keep its promises, Europe will stop financing it, which would quickly lead to Greece’s defaulting on its debts and ending its use of the euro. In a sign of how far things have come, the once-taboo topic of Greece being forced to exit the euro has become so common in public discourse recently that there is now a shorthand term: “Grexit.”
Full Article: New Greek Elections Loom – NYTimes.com.