Antonis Samaras from New Democracy, Evangelos Venizelos from PASOK and Fotis Kouvelis from the Democratic Left met in the presidency for the second time in the last two days at the invitation of Carlos Papoulias to find a common way in forming a coalition government. The meeting lasted less than an hour and the participants left the presidential palace without giving comments. Circles close to Fotis Kouvelis and Evangelos Venizelos said that negotiations have not been completed and the leaders of the three parties are expected to make separate statements a little later in the evening. Uncertainty remains and Greek political analysts do not exclude the possibility for the talks to continue on Tuesday. This meeting will decide whether the three parties have enough support to form a government. The voice and proposals of Panos Kamenos from Independent Greeks will be taken into consideration too as he has 10.6% of the votes in parliament and is the fourth political force after the elections held the previous Sunday.
The leader of the extreme left SYRIZA refused to take part in the meeting of party leaders on Monday. He is not willing to participate in a government composed by PASOK and New Democracy and sees no reason to negotiate with them. He has even started his campaign for the second round by holding a series of meetings in the open with his supporters.
After the meeting in the presidency, Evangelos Venizelos first appeared on the TV from the offices of PASOK. He said that the outcome of the second round of talks between the leaders is the proposal of forming a government of personalities in the political life of Greece. They should have high public and political support and the government formed should have a temporary mandate, until emerging from the hardest period of the economic crisis. He stressed that he would prefer a coalition government with the participation of all major pro-European political forces, but the refusal of SYRIZA will not allow this to happen. "Things are very difficult and I am not at all optimistic, but we must fight to the end. Therefore, the negotiations continue tomorrow," Venizelos concluded his address.
Kouvelis’ statement followed that of the leader of PASOK and he hastened to clarify that he had attended the meeting with Samaras and Venizelos because of an institutional obligation, which does not allow him to refuse an invitation from the President. The desire of the Democratic Left to form a coalition government, to gradually withdraw Greece from the Memorandum of financial aid, cannot be fulfilled due to the refusal of SYRIZA, said the representative of the left. However, Kouvelis is adamant that he would not support the proposal of Carlos Papoulias for a government of personalities. He continues to insist that his party will only support a coalition government with the participation of the three largest parties - New Democracy, PASOK and SYRIZA. "I will attend the meeting tomorrow but only out of a sense of responsibility, not to support a government of personalities."
Antonis Samaras stressed the importance of forming a government without second elections and said that efforts in this direction will continue. According to his words, he had asked Carlos Papoulias to review Panos Kamenos’ written proposals for emerging from the situation, because they contained the idea of forming a government of political personalities with wide public support. "Extraordinary situations require extraordinary measures," he said.
The leaders of six out of the seven elected parliamentary parties will meet again at the presidential palace at 2 pm on Tuesday to clarify whether the idea of a government composed by political personalities regardless of their party colour will find support. This time, Tsipras has accepted the invitation and will participate in the negotiations.The extreme right Golden Dawn leader Nikos Mihaloliakos was not invited to the meeting.