Marathon efforts to break Greece's post-electoral paralysis are lurching into a ninth day amid the country's worst crisis in decades, with fractious party leaders summoned to a yet another emergency meeting tomorrow that could see the reins of government surrendered to non-politicians. The hectic haggling in Athens cast a deep gloom over global markets, which fell today on fears that the debt-crippled country will have to hold another election within weeks—the only way out if squabbling party leaders fail to strike a power-sharing deal.
European finance ministers today urged Athens to struggle on with its reform schedule, warning that a euro exit was no longer inconceivable. Late in the day, President Karolos Papoulias convened the three heads of the only clearly pro-European parties, the first-place conservatives, the Socialist PASOK, and the Democratic Left, to try to agree on a coalition government of technocrats or respected personalities, with broad parliamentary support. New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras put it simply: "The effort to form a government continues."