Left-Wing Leader Rejects Greek Austerity Pledge

May 8, 2012 | By
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Greek leader of Coalition of the Radical Left party (SYRIZA) Alexis Tsipras arrives a meeting with Greek President Karolos Papoulias, to formally take the mandate to form a coalition government in Athens, on Tuesday, May 8, 2012. Bailout-reliant Greece faces days, possibly weeks, of political instability after voters angry at crippling income cuts punished mainstream politicians, let a far-right extremist group into Parliament but gave no party enough votes to govern alone. (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis, pool)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The smoldering debate over European austerity flared hotter Tuesday as the left-wing politician trying to form a new Greek government declared that his country is no longer bound by its pledges to impose crippling cutbacks in return for rescue loans.

The comments by Alexis Tsipras flew in the face of EU leaders’ insistence on fiscal discipline and sent the Greek stock market tumbling just two days after Greek voters rejected mainstream pro-austerity politicians. Instead, the people backed a hodgepodge of parties from the Stalinist left to the neo-Nazi right but produced no clear winner in parliament.

Tsipras also demanded an examination of Greece’s still-massive debt and a moratorium on repayment of the part of it that is “onerous,” statements that rattled investors and drove Greek shares down another 3.6 percent on top of Monday’s nearly 7-percent loss. Markets in France, Italy, Germany and the U.S. also fell.

Read the whole story: AP

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