Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Greek socialist makes last-ditch attempt at government

(Reuters) - Greek Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos will make a last- ditch attempt to form a government on Thursday and avoid a new election after voters rejected a bailout deal and pushed Greece into a political crisis.

Chances are slim Venizelos can clinch a deal after both the conservatives and leftists tried and failed to cobble together a coalition in three days of talks following Sunday's election, when voters spurned big parties and their austerity policies.

The political deadlock prompted European threats to eject Greece from the euro, while impatient governments withheld part of the latest tranche of rescue funds to be paid to Greece on Thursday.

New elections in 3-4 weeks loom as Athens, due to run out of cash in June, needs to impose fresh measures in exchange for funds.

"I will continue the effort because it is in the nation's interest," Venizelos told reporters. "Prolonging this uncertainty only hurts the country and its economy, and in the end, the weakest and the unemployed." Read More