ATHENS (Reuters) – A flurry of polls on Saturday showed the race to lead Greece has tightened into a dead heat ahead of an election next month that could determine whether it remains in the euro.
Greece was forced to call the new vote for June 17 after an election on May 6 left parliament divided evenly between groups of parties that support and oppose austerity conditions attached to a 130 billion euro rescue agreed with lenders in March.
ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek voters are returning to the establishment parties that negotiated its bailout, a poll showed on Thursday, offering potential salvation for European leaders who say a snap Greek election next month will decide whether it must quit the euro.
The poll, the first conducted since talks to form a government collapsed and a new election was called for June 17, showed the conservative New Democracy party in first place, several points ahead of the radical leftist SYRIZA which has pledged to tear up the bailout.
ATHENS (Reuters) – It’s fair to say that “sexy” is not an adjective used to describe most Greek politicians.
When Alexis Tsipras, the 37-year-old ex-student radical poised to become the most powerful man in Greece, sat with no necktie across the negotiating table from middle-aged party bosses, it was clear politics in Athens were about to change.
ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek politicians abandoned their quest to form a government on Saturday, leaving the president with one final opportunity to avert new elections that could drive the debt-choked country out of the European single currency.
Greece’s political landscape is in disarray after voters humiliated the only parties backing a rescue plan tied to spending cuts, leaving no bloc with sufficient seats to form a government to secure the next tranche of financial aid.
ATHENS, May 11 (Reuters) – The leaders of Greece’s
once-dominant political parties make their final effort on
Friday to form a coalition and avert a new election, which a
poll showed would all but wipe them out and give victory to a
radical leftist who rejects an EU bailout.
The overwhelming majority of Greeks want to stay in the euro
zone but voted last Sunday for parties that reject the severe
terms of a bailout negotiated last year. European leaders say
Greece will be ejected from the common currency if it turns its
back on the package of tax hikes and wage cuts.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Followers of Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr freed an American former soldier on Saturday after holding him captive in Baghdad for nine months.
The American, identified as Randy Michaels, was shown on television in a U.S. military uniform with no insignia, flanked by two members of parliament from Sadr’s movement, including the parliament’s first deputy speaker.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The man holds up two pictures of his friend, which tell the story of what it now means to be gay in Iraq.
One photograph, which the man keeps on his mobile phone, is a portrait of a handsome youth with a stylish haircut. The other, a printed snapshot taken last month, shows the body of the same young man lying sprawled in the back of a white pickup truck, his head disfigured by blunt trauma.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A Shi’ite militia has handed over the body of the last U.S. soldier missing in Iraq, closing a final chapter of the war two months after U.S. troops left and more than five years after the soldier vanished while secretly visiting his wife in Baghdad.
A source in Shi’ite militia Asaib al-Haq said the group had acted as an “intermediary” in handing the body of American soldier Ahmed al-Taie to the Iraqi government. The source denied the group was behind his abduction and killing.
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The family of the last U.S. soldier missing in Iraq will hold a funeral for him in Michigan, now that the army has recovered his remains more than five years after he vanished while secretly visiting his Iraqi wife in Baghdad.
Ahmed al-Taie, an Iraqi-born immigrant, joined the U.S. Army to serve as an Arabic interpreter after the invasion of his native land. He married a local woman and went missing in 2006 while visiting her in Baghdad at the height of the sectarian conflict.
LONDON (Reuters) – The choice of a Sudanese general to head an Arab League mission in Syria has alarmed opposition activists who say Sudan’s own defiance of a war crimes tribunal means the monitors probably won’t recommend strong action against Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.
The Arab League says Lieutenant-General Mustafa al-Dabi brings vital military and diplomatic expertise to its unprecedented mission to verify that Assad is complying with a deal to end Syria’s crackdown on protesters.