Greek President Wants Technocracy

Posted May 14th, 2012 at 8:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Greek President Karolos Papoulias is asking party leaders to form a technocracy — a government run by experts and academics instead of politicians and bureaucrats.

Greek political leaders have been struggling to put together a coalition government since last week's parliamentary elections resulted in a deadlock. None of the three top parties won enough seats to form a government on its own.

Monday's talks ended without any formal statement. Party leaders plan to meet again Tuesday.

Radical left leader Alexis Tsipras refused to attend Monday's talks, but now says he will attend Tuesday's session. He told the Athens News Agency that he supports Greece remaining in the eurozone. But he says he still opposes the tough economic austerity measures imposed on Greece by its European leaders in exchange for two bailouts.

Tsipras has said that Greek officials who still support the deep spending cuts did not get the message of the voters.

The top three parties in last week's vote — the conservative New Democracy, the radical left Syriza, and the socialist PASOK — were each given a chance to form a coalition. But none of the parties were able to find enough support to put together a new government.

The president has until Thursday to broker a deal. If he fails, Greece will have to hold new elections next month.

European Union officials say they hope Greece will stay in the eurozone but that it must live up to its commitments. Germany's Finance Ministry warned Monday that following the terms and timetable of its austerity program is the “only and right” means by which Greece can recover.

The economic measures include deep spending cuts, tax hikes, pension cuts, and eliminating thousands of government jobs. Greeks have taken to the streets in sometimes violent protests against the bailout requirements.