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Greek Socialist Leader Not Optimistic About Forming Coalition

Leader of Greece's leftist Syriza bloc Alexis Tsipras (left) with the leader of the Socialist PASOK party Evangelos Venizelos after a meeting in Athens earlier this month.
Greek Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos has said he is not optimistic that a coalition government could be formed one week after inconclusive elections.

Venizelos was speaking on May 14 after he met with President Karolos Papoulias along with the leaders of the conservative New Democracy and the Democratic Left parties.

Those discussions ended with no breakthrough, but Venizelos said the president had proposed forming a technocrat government and called for another round of talks on May 15.

Alexis Tsipras, the leader of Syriza, the leftist bloc which finished a surprising second in the May 6 election, refused to attend the talks on May 14.

Syriza has said it will not join any coalition which supports a bailout deal agreed with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to avoid state bankruptcy.

If coalition talks fail, Greece will face fresh elections amid increasing speculation the country may have to leave the eurozone.

Based on reporting by Reuters, dpa, AP, and AFP