"Mr. Tsipras, who campaigned on an antiausterity platform, on Monday rejected teaming up with the conservatives to form a coalition government, saying that he couldn't consent to austerity measures promised to the country's international creditors."
"We believe that the path of salvation doesn't pass through the barbarity of austerity measures," Mr. Tsipras told reporters.
See what I mean?
In the first day, Antonis Samaras the head of Greece's New Democracy party which one the most seats on Sunday-but at 19% was far short of enough to rule alone-failed to achieve a coalition.
"In Athens, a confusing day of negotiations ended with the collapse of the initial round of talks when the leader of Greece's center-right New Democracy party, which finished first in Sunday's vote, emerged from talks declaring it "impossible" to reach a consensus."
"I did what I could," said Antonis Samaras, the New Democracy head who is one of Greece's most prominent political leaders."
There is however speculation that Samaras "threw" the negotiations hoping to force new election if there is a failure to reach a coalition. He may be hoping that a new election might give his New Democracy governing power or a coalition with Pasok to give them governing power outright.
With Samaras' failure this puts the ball in Tsiparis' court:
"Mr. Samaras's failure opens the door for Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left, or Syriza, which finished second on Sunday, to try to build a governing coalition. If Syriza were to fail, Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos would get a chance. If a coalition isn't formed in coming days, new elections would likely be called in June."
"If that vote were to fail to give one of the mainstream parties a clear mandate, Greece's future in the euro zone, and possibly the European Union, would be at risk."
Again, Samarss may be banking on a new election-one possible date has been given as June 10.
"Mr. Samaras and his allies may be betting that voters who have turned away from New Democracy in recent months amid the country's deepening economic malaise would return if they feared Greece may otherwise be forced out of the euro."
However is this is his strategy, it is not without peril:
"But some analysts said a new round of elections could have the opposite effect, as disgruntled voters flock to the fringe parties that have surged in recent months in protest."
From my standpoint-as a charter member of Team Keynes-one hopes that at some point Tsiparis is able to get his coalition. For right now the odds are long as there are not enough leftist members to get it this time which will mean new election. The Communist party which got 6.5% of the vote-less than the neo-nazi New Dawn party is opposed to both remaining in the euro and any coalition.
Actually the Communists have a reasonable position in wanting to leave the euro. There's something to be said for it. All things being equal I think you'd rather not see it come to this but if the EU refused to budge-and Merkel has vowed to do just that-then I think there's a real case for leaving the euro though if it were my call I'd want to at least do a few hypothetical studies-a few PDFs-before getting there.
However, I don't get this Communist refusal for a coalition this determination to abstain. I can understand why it might not trust non-Communist parties-but then again there's just as much reason for them not to trust the Communists. By abstaining from a coalition don't they limit the impact of what they can achieve? Wouldn't it make more sense to join with the other Left parties of Socialists and Greens and make the case for leaving the euro there?