Too divided to form a coalition, Greek political leaders will instead meet today to cobble together a caretaker government until a possible June 17 election.
It is an outcome few people wanted except perhaps the anti-bailout Syriza party which opinion polls show as likely to win.
But for many Greeks it is a path into the unknown; no cuts means no bailout which means no euro.
One Athens resident said would have preferred the leaders to have reached an agreement: “so that we could have progressed and seen growth, and not be driven into poverty.”
Another blamed the politicians: “I don’t know what to expect but I will still vote as I did before. Until now we have only heard lies, so I really don’t know what’s going to happen.”
As the rest of the eurozone worries over whether the turmoil will spread to other economies, for the Greeks a second election in just over a month will be decision time. They face the prospect of having to choose between the pain of austerity and a perhaps even more painful return to the drachma currency.