Democratic Left will not join bailout alliance, Reuters reports

Greece’s Democratic Left party refuses to join any pro-bailout coalition of the conservative New Democracy and Socialist PASOK parties, its leader, Fotis Kouvelis, told Reuters on Monday.

The moderate leftist party, which picked up 6.1 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election, had been seen as the two traditional ruling parties’ best hope for a coalition partner among the five anti-bailout parties that entered parliament.

“We rule out participating in a PASOK-New Democracy government,» Kouvelis told Reuters after a party meeting to decide the group’s strategy.

“We would participate in a coalition government with other progressive forces,» he said, referring to other leftist parties which together do not have enough parliamentary seats to obtain a majority.

PASOK and New Democracy suffered a thrashing at the hands of voters on Sunday and have a combined 149 seats in the 300-seat parliament, their share of the vote having been halved compared with the last election in 2009.

The Democratic Left hold 19 seats. [Reuters]