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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths surrounding the enigmatic singer
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
Life and Style
life
Sport
Christian Benteke of Aston Villa celebrates scoring the winner for Aston Villa
football
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
News
Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media Celebration at The Four Seasons Restaurant on April 16, 2014 in New York City
media It is the second time he and the channel have clarified statements
News
people
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

Recruitment Genius: Lettings and Sales Negotiator - OTE £46,000

£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care Worker - Reading and Surrounding Areas

£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn