Athens: Greece`s day-old Parliament held its last session on Friday to allow for new elections next month that are being cast as a decision on whether to keep the country in the 17-nation eurozone even if that means accepting a deeply unpopular austerity program.
Inconclusive elections on May 06 left squabbling politicians unable to form a government, deepening a political crisis and giving strength to radical parties that reject the terms of the country`s international bailout, without which it would default and have to drop out of the currency union with catastrophic financial consequences.
Greek President Karolos Papoulias is expected to formally dissolve Parliament and call elections on Saturday.
In a purely symbolic move on Thursday, the 300 legislators elected on May 06 were sworn in for just one day, including 21 lawmakers from the far-right Golden Dawn party. Parliament spent several hours on Friday electing a speaker and his assistants, who enjoyed a few moments in office before the session wrapped up.
A caretaker government will lead Greece until the new election expected on June 17, but it can`t make any binding decisions.
The political paralysis comes at a critical time for Greece, which must make more budget cutbacks next month to get new funds from its international bailout, which has kept the country afloat since May 2010.