Nine days after its election, Greece is still trying to form a government despite the failure of round after round of talks between rival political parties.
Austerity remains the sticking point with radical left leader Alex Tsipras of the SYRIZA party refusing to join a coalition bent on more belt-tightening in return for a bailout.
It means new elections look likely, which some say could mean a Greek exit from the eurozone.
Germany’s Angela Merkel, for one, hopes it won’t come to that.
“I think it would be best for Greece to stay in the eurozone,” the German Chancellor said on a visit to a European school in Berlin. “This means we have to show a way to get Greece back on track, step by step.”
Euro group president Jean-Claude Juncker also wants the debt-stricken country to stay in, as do most of its citizens, opinion polls say.
However for German analyst Robert Halvor of Baader Bank it is not so simple.
“Greece can’t solve its domestic problems in the eurozone,” he said. “There is no purpose to Greece staying in the eurozone. Greece can’t survive in the eurozone.”
Many Greeks are losing patience; as Communist supporters rallied in Athens, their party leader Aleka Papariga denounced the coalition talks.
Today the debate is whether to form a government of technocrats – an idea the radical left has already rejected.
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