Centrist leader seeks to marshal pro-European forces

The leader of the liberal Democratic Alliance, Dora Bakoyannis, on Monday made a broad appeal to all ?pro-European forces? to cooperate to secure the country?s future in the eurozone.

Addressing the members of her political council, the former foreign minister and mayor of Athens emphasized that the current priority was for a new government to be formed, noting that the parties elected to Parliament on May 6 ?have an obligation to give Greece a government.?

In the event that they fail, Bakoyannis said she would seek to marshal ?pro-European forces» into a coalition irrespective of their position in the political spectrum. ?If it proves impossible,? she said, referring to the party leaders? efforts to form a government, ?I call on all the forces that believe Greece?s future is in Europe to cooperate.?

Bakoyannis is also aiming to boost the fortunes of her party which failed to enter Parliament on May 6 and is reportedly facing defections of some deputies to conservative New Democracy.

Neither Democratic Alliance nor ND would confirm reports of exploratory talks between the two parties.

But talks between Bakoyannis and Stefanos Manos, the leader of Drasi, another small liberal party, were said to be progressing well ahead of likely elections in June. Initially, talks between Bakoyannis and Manos, who are both former ministers, are said to have foundered as both wanted a leading role.