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Greece: ND fails to find coalition partner; mandate goes to SYRIZA on Tuesday

08. May 2012. | 10:42

Source: AMNA

In a live televised statement on Monday evening, New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras said that his efforts to form a coalition government with any of the other parties elected to Parliament had failed and that he was handing back the exploratory mandate presented to him under the Constitution.

In a live televised statement on Monday evening, New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras said that his efforts to form a coalition government with any of the other parties elected to Parliament had failed and that he was handing back the exploratory mandate presented to him under the Constitution.

Samaras, whose party came first in Greece's general elections with 18.87 percent, visited President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias earlier on Monday and received the first three-day exploratory mandate in order to try and form a coalition government.

Samaras, in his televised statement on Monday evening after returning the mandate to President Karolos Papoulias on the creation of a government, stressed that "as I also said on Sunday night we cannot let Greece be ungoverned."

Samaras further said "and as I committed myself, I tried to find a solution for a national salvation government, with two aims: the country to stay in the euro and the policy of the memorandum to change, through renegotiating, with growth measures, for the recession to stop and society to be relieved.

"Being the first party, I received the exploratory mandate and I aimed at meeting with the party leaders in accordance with the election strength position of their parties.

-I met with Mr. (Radical Left Coalition - SYRIZA- leader Alexis) Tsipras, who did not accept, since he has committed himself on the effort for the creation of a government by parties of the Left.

-I then met with Mr. (PASOK leader Evangelos) Venizelos who proposed that a wider unity government take place with the participation, apart from ND and PASOK, of SYRIZA and the Democratic Left. I explained to him that SYRIZA has already rejected the proposal, while a little earlier Mr. (Fotis) Kouvelis of the Demcratic Left had also rejected it.

-We communicated with the office of Mr. (Independent Greeks party leader Panos) Kammenos, who refused all contact with us.

-Lastly I also telephoned to Mrs. (Aleka) Papariga Secretargy General of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and we agreed that there is no reason for us to meet, since her party disagrees with the European prospect.

"We did all that was possible with the Parliament's new composition. We extended our proposal to all the parties, that could participate in such an effort, but they either rejected their participation directly, or raised as a condition the participation of others. Who, however, do not accept.

We, however, as we were obliged, did all that was possisble.

We are, in any case, the only party that had warned that the policy of the memorandum will fail, due to the untold unhappiness that it caused. And this failure led to yesterday's (Sunday) result.

We were, also, the only party that, during the pre-election campaign, warned of the danger of the lack of governance.

This precisely that I tried to avert today as well. I did all that I could for there to be a result. However, it was impossible.

After this, I informed the President of the Republic and handed back the mandate," Samaras concluded.

The exploratory mandate will now be given to the head of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) Alexis Tsipras, whose party came second in the elections with 16.78 percent of the vote, who has three days in which to try and form a government.

Under the current election law in Greece, which gives a 50-seat bonus to the first party regardless of its percentage, ND controls 108 seats in the 300-seat Parliament. This means that the two parties that agreed to the austerity programme and loan agreements, PASOK and New Democracy, cannot between them muster enough seats to form a government. Samaras has ruled out cooperation with the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn-Chryssi Avgi, which has not been invited to hold talks.

Tsipras says 'no' to cooperation with ND

Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) leader Alexis Tsipras on Monday announced that his party has refused a proposal from New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras to form a coalition government.

Speaking to reporters, Tsipras said “Samaras’ government platform is the very opposite of the alternative plan of governance advocated by the left,” before flatly rejecting the likelihood of cooperation with ND.

He said that during its election campaign SYRIZA had asked for the popular vote to allow the forces of the Left to form a coalition government that will rid the country of the memorandum, adding that his party’s position is firm.

He underlined that he believes that the country’s salvation passes through the rejection of the cruel economic measures imposed and only if recession and the looting of wages and pensions is stopped. He also said that the austerity measures should be abolished and be replaced by measures that will boost economy, combined with the taxation of accumulated wealth to ensure funds that will be channelled to the poor and the vulnerable.

Tsipras underlined that Samaras has signed the second memorandum and the new painful measures coming with it. He said that under these circumstances “there can be no government of national salvation considering that his (Samaras’) signature and commitments, undertaken within the framework of the memorandum, do not constitute a salvation but a tragedy for the people and the country.”

"We will not bring back through the window what was kicked out the door yesterday by the Greek people’s vote”.

He said his party will exhaust every possibility to reach an understanding, primarily with the forces of the left, leading to developments desired by the majority of the electorate.

Venizelos meets ND leader, presents plan for 'pro-European' gov't

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras on Monday had a 15-minute meeting with PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, the second in a round of meetings with party leaders as he attempts to gain their support to form a coalition government. In statements afterward, Venizelos said he had used the meeting to present his party's proposal for a national unity government with the participation of all pro-European forces "who share in the responsibility for finding a political solution".

Venizelos said that Samaras had essentially repeated the statement he made last night, while he had an opportunity to present PASOK's five-point plan for a coalition government in more detail.

PASOK's leader specified that this government must include all the forces that favoured Greece's European orientation, including New Democracy, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) and the Democratic Left, adding that PASOK was prepared to give a vote of confidence without making the


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