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Isolation or austerity: Greeks face tough choice


Greece

Isolation or austerity: Greeks face tough choice

All hands on deck.

As the Greek caretaker government is sworn in, commentators say Greece’s economy is sinking fast. New elections have been scheduled for June 17. The second election in the space of two months could prove to be Greece’s euro swansong.

The pro-bailout New Democracy party came first in the last elections but squabbles over austerity measures with the left meant no coalition government could be formed.

New Democracy member Kyriakos Mitsotakis urged caution over next month’s vote.

“It is going to be up to the Greeks to decide whether they want a pro-European government or whether they will choose a road that will lead them into complete isolation,” he said. “I am confident they will choose the first.”

Anti-bailout SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras remained defiant against the pressure to agree to EU bailout terms.

“During the attempt to form a government the same scenario was played out, the attempt to try and terrorise the people with only one goal, to make SYRIZA cave in,” he said.

His position has been boosted by polls suggesting his party could claim the top spot in June. EU leaders have made clear that any divergence from agreed austerity measures means funds will be cut off, and a possible euro exit for Greece. Whilst most Greeks oppose austerity, they overwhelmingly back the euro, which means they will face a tough decision this June.

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