Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Anti-bailout party rejects Greek austerity pledge

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Sparks ignited Tuesday in Europe's austerity debate as the left-wing politician struggling to form a new Greek government declared that his country was no longer bound by its pledges to impose crippling cutbacks in return for rescue loans.

The comments by Alexis Tsipras came two days after Greek voters vehemently rejected mainstream pro-austerity politicians, backing a hodgepodge of parties from the Stalinist left to the neo-Nazi right but producing no clear winner in parliament.

Tsipras also demanded an examination of Greece's still-massive debt and a moratorium on repayment of the part of it that is "onerous," statements that rattled investors and drove Greek shares down another 3.6 percent on top of Monday's nearly 7-percent loss.

"The pro-bailout parties no longer have a majority in parliament to vote in destructive measures for the Greek people," said the 38-year-old Tsipras, whose anti-austerity Radical Left Coalition party came second in Sunday's vote. "The popular mandate clearly renders the bailout agreement invalid." Read More