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Greece interim government delays elections

Greece interim government delays elections
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There is uncertainty over when elections will next be held in Greece after the interim government’s finance minister said the ballot would be delayed.

Evangelos Venizelos made the announcement at an internal socialist PASOK party meeting, giving himself more time for critical talks with eurozone countries and banks over the debt crisis.

The party is also pressuring former prime minister George Papandreou to initiate a leadership contest, indicating they will not be happy if he stays at the helm of the party without one.

The end of April is being touted as the likely time for a general election, as the caretaker coalition government led by technocrat Lucas Papademos remains divided.

The coalition did successfully manage to get the sixth instalment of its EU/IMF bailout money, but has not been able to implement the reforms and spending cuts promised to Brussels in exchange.

Louise Cooper, a financial analyst with BGC Partners, explained why the government has been so ineffective: “Greek riots rather strangely has been quite a big series of moments for me because it reminds us all that we’re all democracies and politicians can only impose or do what their electorates want them to do.”

A general strike and protests in Athens are signs that ordinary Greeks are not happy with harsh austerity measures — the cost of staying in the euro — and many speculate a default on the country’s debt repayments may still happen.