Double blow to Greek coalition talks

The Democratic Left party said it was not inclined to become part of a coalition that didn’t include the more radical far left Syriza.

Last Updated: May 14, 2012, 13:10 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Athens: A day after the Radical Left Coalition (Syriza) party said it would not join a Greek coalition government of pro-bailout parties, the moderate Democratic Left party also backed out from the efforts on Monday.

The Democratic Left party said it was not inclined to become part of a coalition that didn’t include the more radical far left Syriza, the BBC reported.

The development came hours before talks were to resume to cobble up a governing coalition in the crisis-hit country.

There are now fears of the country heading for fresh elections which will cast serious doubts on its continued membership in the euro.

President Karolos Papoulias has been making last-ditch efforts to broker a deal between wrangling party leaders but the same has not yielded results.

A week ago, national elections had failed to produce clear majority for any party.

The Radical Left Coalition (Syriza) party, which finished a surprising second in the May 6 polls, with 16.8 percent votes, said on Sunday that it would not join a coalition government.

"Syriza refuses to be a left-wing alibi for a government that will continue the policies the people rejected on May 6," NET state television quoted Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras as saying.

Now, with the Democratic Left - the most moderate of the leftist parties – refusing to join coalition government, only conservative New Democracy, which won the election with 18.9 percent, and socialist PASOK, which came in third with 13.2 percent, are left as the only remaining partners available for a coalition government.

President Papoulias has not invited again fourth-placed Independent Greeks — a right-wing nationalist offshoot of New Democracy — the fifth-placed hardline Communists and sixth-placed extreme-right Golden Dawn to attend Monday evening talks, as none expressed any desire to take part.