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Greek coalition process crawls as election calls accelerate

Greek opposition leaders made zero progress on Sunday as they pressed on with trying to form a new coalition, despite appeals from home and abroad for a rapid move to elections so the country can deal with its simultaneous economic and humanitarian crises.

world Updated: Aug 24, 2015 23:43 IST

Greek opposition leaders made zero progress on Sunday as they pressed on with trying to form a new coalition, despite appeals from home and abroad for a rapid move to elections so the country can deal with its simultaneous economic and humanitarian crises.

Conservative leader Evangelos Meimarakis spent the third and final day offered to him by Greece’s president to form a government in vain, rebuffed by leftist outgoing prime minister Alexis Tsipras.

The leisurely pace of coalition negotiations since Tsipras resigned has prompted media calls for a caretaker leader to implement further austerity and reform policies that are essential to ensure Greece keeps getting vital funds.

Tsipras denounced the tactics of Meimarakis and radical leftist Panagiotis Lafazanis - the man who led a walkout from Tsipras’s Syriza party over the 86 billion euro programme.

“Don’t bother with tricks aimed at delaying the elections. These won’t get anywhere and the people understand this,” Tsipras told senior government and Syriza members, remaining favourite to form the next government after elections.