Athens: Greece found itself a notch deeper in political quagmire on Monday night when Antonis Samaras, leader of the conservative New Democracy party announced that it was “impossible” for him to form a coalition government.
President Karolos Papoulia had given Samaras a three-day mandate to try to form a coalition after his party New Democracy bagged the largest vote share in Sunday’s election.
Greeks, angered and frustrated by huge unemployment rate and steep wage cuts, punished the mainstream political parties - the New Democracy and Socialist PASOK – for imposing tough austerity measures for sake of an EU/IMF bailout to avert a sovereign default.
These two parties have been ruling Greece since decades but in Sunday’s election they ended with less than enough seats to form a new government.
Antonis’ efforts to rope in anti-austerity parties yielded no results and within hours he handed back the mandate.
"It was impossible," Samaras told reporters.
The task of forming government will now pass on to Alexis Tsipras, leader of Left Coalition party which got the second highest number of votes.
Tspiras would try his best to form a leftist government but he, too, does not seem to have the required numbers.
Greece looks heading towards a political turmoil with the possibility of forming a stable government almost negligible.
In case, the Left Coalition party too fails to form a government (and the numbers say they will) another election in a few weeks could be the only way out.
With the sword of bankruptcy looming large, Greece stands in a state of acute political uncertainity.
Moreover, Greek election results combined with Hollande’s win in France have aggravated EU’s concerns.
Entirely dependent on billions of euros worth of international rescue loans from other European countries and the International Monetary Fund, Greece must impose yet more austerity measures next month, if it is to keep the money flowing and prevent a default and a potentially disastrous exit from the euro.
With Agencies’ inputs