Three-party coalition set to govern Greece

Three-party coalition set to govern Greece

ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
Greece inched towards a three-party coalition yesterday under fierce pressure from financial markets and world powers after a pro-euro party won elections on a surge of anger over austerity.

The New Democracy conservatives were negotiating a possible coalition with PASOK socialists and the Democratic Left party after clinching a narrow victory against the radical leftist Syriza which wants Greece’s EU-IMF bailout deal torn up.

The three parties “are drawing closer” to a deal, New Democracy spokesman Yiannis Michelakis told Real radio.

PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos has voiced hope that a coalition will be announced later yesterday and Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis said that it was possible “within the next few hours, if we reach agreement.” Kouvelis was to convene his party to decide on the issue.

After meeting with Kouvelis, Venizelos said coalition talks were being “sped up” and added: “Greece must and will have a government as soon as possible.” New Democracy chief Antonis Samaras, a 61-year-old former foreign minister educated at Amherst and Harvard in the United States, won 129 of the 300 parliamentary seats on June 17, Syriza won 71, PASOK 33 and Democratic Left 17.