Greece's president Karolos Papoulias calls for end to government stalemate

Efforts to form coalition show little progress as anti-austerity leader refuses to compromise

Athens

Greece's search for a government to prevent the country's disorderly exit from the euro ended late last night with still no sign of an agreement.

The chances of any agreement appeared remote after the Radical Left Coalition, Syriza, said it would not attend talks with the country's two other largest parties, due to resume today.

It fell to the Greek President to make a final appeal to politicians to avoid fresh elections. But Karolos Papoulias failed to make a breakthrough during his meeting with the heads of the three parties earlier yesterday. Hopes had hinged on a change of mind from Fotis Kouvelis, who leads a moderate-left group which could help the conservatives and socialists, who came first and third, to get the majority needed to govern.

Should no agreement be found then Greece is expected to vote again – with 17 June being the likely date – under intense pressure over its future in the eurozone. The campaign would be dominated by a clash between parties who believe Greece must meet the terms of its loan agreements with international creditors to stay in the single currency and others who claim that those agreements can be scrapped without falling out of the euro.

"Greeks are caught with a mountain of debt behind them and the cliff's edge of exit from the euro in front of them," said Theodore Pelagidis, a professor of economics at the University of Piraeus.

The European Central Bank (ECB), the German government and Greece's other EU partners have warned Athens that no substantial renegotiation of the most recent €130bn (£104bn) bailout will be allowed.

The country's collapsing economy and continuing pressure for more cuts and reforms from the "troika" – the International Monetary Fund, the EU and the ECB – have exploded Greece's two-party system and led to the rise of Syriza under Alexis Tsipras.

Aware that his party is climbing in the opinion polls, Mr Tsipras has resisted all efforts by other party leaders to draw him into the coalition. Last night, he said: "Syriza refuses to be a left-wing alibi for a government that will continue the policies the people rejected on 6 May."

Mr Tsipras is accused of using the two-day mandate he was given last week to form a government to begin his campaign for fresh elections rather than make any effort at unity.

The conservative New Democracy and socialist Pasok parties could achieve a parliamentary majority of 168 seats if they were able to persuade the Democratic Left to join them.

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Qualified Primary Teaching Assistant

£64 - £73 per day + Competitive rates based on experience : Randstad Education...

Primary KS2 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Primary NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Primary NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam