Greek Leftist Politician Calls for Rejection of Austerity Measures

Posted May 8th, 2012 at 12:55 pm (UTC-5)
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The head of Greece's radical left party, Syriza, is calling for a rejection of all austerity measures imposed under an international loan deal, as he tries to form a new coalition government.

Alexis Tsipras on Tuesday urged Greece's two main party leaders to reverse their position on spending reductions linked to a multi-billion-dollar bailout that is keeping Greece afloat.

He said the Greek people rejected the austerity measures in Sunday's election.

Syriza won 52 of the 300 seats in parliament in Sunday's poll, second behind Greece's conservative New Democracy party.

New Democracy was thus given the first chance to form a unity government. But party chief Antonis Samaras said Monday he was unable to form one after rejections from party leaders.

Greek President Karolos Papoulias has since given Tsipras three days to form a ruling alliance.

If those talks fail, the party that came in third will get the mandate to gain a majority in parliament. No agreement could force new elections next month.

Nervous European leaders have maintained pressure on Greece to continue respecting the requirements imposed on Athens in return for more than $300 billion in two bailouts.

The bailout deal, struck in February with the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank, aims to clear the way for Greece to return to financial markets by 2015.