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GREECE - Political paralysis lingers

Published:Wednesday | May 16, 2012 | 12:00 AM


Greece is headed for another month of political paralysis ahead of new elections in mid-June, after party leaders yesterday failed to reach an agreement to build a coalition government.

The protracted deadlock and the prospect of an anti-austerity party winning the new vote hammered Europe's markets on fears that the debt-crippled country could be forced out of the European single currency, triggering shockwaves throughout the 17-country Eurozone.

"The country is unfortunately heading again to elections," Socialist party leader and former finance minister Evangelos Venizelos said after the talks under President Karolos Papoulias collapsed. "It is heading back to elections in a few days under very bad circumstances, because certain people coldly put their short-term party interests above the national interest."