TsIpras rebuffs coalition call

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Despite immense pressure the leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), Alexis Tsipras, refused to join or support a ‘grand coalition’ government at a meeting on Sunday afternoon called by the President of Greece, Karolos Papoulias.

Yesterday morning the Athens Stock exchange dived by 3.5% having lost over 11% last week.

In yet another effort to form a pro-EC-IMF austerity measures government, the President of Greece called for another meeting yesterday evening but Tsipras said he wouldn’t attend.

After Sunday’s meeting of just the leaders of the three political parties that came top in the May 6th elections – the conservatives, SYRIZA and the social-democrats – Tsipras demanded the publication of the minutes and castigated the President of Greece for presenting to all three leaders ‘for their eyes only’ an unsigned document from the Bank of Greece which, according to SYRIZA, puts in doubt the ability of the state to pay wages and pensions after 1st June.

At the meeting Tsipras said that the Bank of Greece should have presented this document to all political leaders.

As the stock exchanges throughout Europe were crashing, in tandem with yet another electoral defeat for Chancellor Merkel on Sunday, machinations are under way to convince the leader of the Democratic Left party, Fotis Kouvelis, to join a coalition government with the conservatives and the social-democrats, with him as Prime Minister.

These three parties won 168 deputies in the election in the 300 seats Vouli (Greek parliament). Once again, Tsipras challenged them to form a government.

Panos Kammenos, the leader of the Independent Greeks party, a right-wing pro-Eurozone but anti-EC-IMF formation, insisted that a fresh election must be held and that there was no way his party would agree to form a coalition government with the conservatives and the social-democrats.

If Kouvelis remains firm in his position that he won’t join a coalition government unless SYRIZA also joins, then the pro-EC-IMF Accord conservatives and social-democrats would have to invite the fascist Golden Dawn party, which won 21 deputies in the election, to join a coalition government.

Aleka Paparigha, the General Secretary of the KKE (Greek Communist Party), called for immediate elections. KKE won 26 deputies and is refusing to join any coalition government.

Several trade union federations are staging a 24-hour strike today against the abolition of collective agreements which will result in 30-40 per cent immediate wage cuts.