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Greek left attacks ‘barbarous’ austerity

Kerin Hope and Alexandra Stevenson
Financial Times [1]
May 9, 2012

Greece is heading for a clash with international lenders as the radical leftwing party that came second in the weekend’s election called for the ripping up of a “barbarous” austerity programme underpinning its bailout and questions mounted about the country’s future inside the euro.

Alexis Tsipras, the 38-year-old leader of the Syriza party that surged in popularity in Sunday’s poll, outlined on Tuesday a five-point plan to be put to party leaders as he attempts to build a coalition, demanding the reversal of fiscal and structural measures that have enabled Greece [2] to slash its budget deficit.

Mr Tsipras is due to meet late on Wednesday afternoon with first Antonis Samaras, the leader of the conservative New Democracy, which came first in Sunday’s election but failed to form a coalition on Monday, and then Evangelos Venizelos, the leader of the PanHellenic Socialist Movement, or Pasok, which came third.

Analysts expect both leaders to reject Mr Tsipras’s plan out of hand, a move that is likely to lead to another election [3] in June, although Mr Venizelos will symbolically be given the opportunity to try and form a coalition first.

Full article here [4]