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Greek Debt Crisis

No new government yet for Greece puts future in doubt

Jeremy Hobson May 9, 2012

Jeremy Hobson: Across Europe this week, stock markets have been down and borrowing costs have been rising. The culprit, as usual, is uncertainty — and the center of that uncertainty today is Athens, Greece. The country held elections over the weekend, but so far hasn’t formed a new government. Nick Malkoutzis is with the Greek newspaper Kathimerini. He joins us now from Athens. Good morning.

Nick Malkoutzis: Good morning.

Hobson: So you had elections there over the weekend, but it sounds like nobody has really won yet.

Malkoutzis: That’s right. We’re in a bit of a deadlock at the moment. The two main parties didn’t get a clear majority in parliament and now there are efforts underway to try and form some kind of unity government. If there’s no unity government, then the Greek president will try to broker a deal. And if that fails then we’ll have to go to a second round of elections.

Hobson: A second round of elections, so this is really all putting the future of Greece in a very uncertain space at the moment.

Malkoutzis: Very much so because Greece is due to run out of money in June. It’s expecting more installments with its bailout with the EU and the IMF, but clearly the Europeans and the IMF don’t want to release any money until they know what government they’re working with.

Hobson: Now I’ve seen a lot more headlines in the last couple of days about the possibility getting bigger that Greece will eventually leave the euro. What’s your sense at this point?

Malkoutzis: Well, one of the leading parties of these elections, a leftist coalition is against the bailout. There is a concern that if Greece were to go along those lines, that would almost certainly lead to an exit from the euro. There is a real possibility at the moment, but until we have a government we can’t be certain.

Hobson: Nick is deputy editor of the Greek newspaper Kathimerini. Thanks so much for joining us.

Malkoutzis: Thank you very much.

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