June 19 - Greece's party leaders try to form a coalition government, which will likely push for an immediate softening of the EU/IMF bailout terms. Travis Brecher reports.
Greek politicians are poised to form a coalition government on Tuesday, in a bid to resolve the political uncertainty that still hovers over the country. It looks likely that the centre-right New Democracy Party and the Socialist PASOK party - both of which are pro-bailout and have dominated politics for decades in Greece - would share power with a smaller moderate left party, the Democratic Left. The Democratic Left approves of the bailout agreement, but wants a number of elements of the austerity term renegotiated. But here in Athens, one pensioner doesn't care who's in charge - she just want things to go back to normal. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PENSIONER, CHRISAVGI PAPADOPOULOU, SAYING: "We just want quiet, whatever government is formed, we just want peace and quiet, and people to be happy, that's all we care about, so we can go on living." Another resident says partisan divisions must be ignored for the country to move forward. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PRIVATE BUSINESSMAN, 43, FEDON KOKKIRAS, SAYING: "From what it looks like it will be New Democracy, PASOK, and the Democratic Left. The good thing would be for them all to actively participate (with a significant presence). And God help them." Many Greeks believe responsibility for the economic crisis - which forced EU and IMF bailouts in 2010 and again this year - straddles party lines. Now, with Greece just weeks away from running out of cash, Greek political leaders appear determined to avert the deadlock that followed an inconclusive vote on May 6. Travis Brecher, Reuters