President meeting with party chiefs

A meeting of party chiefs was underway on Tuesday afternoon, chaired by Karolos Papaoulias (photo) at the Presidential Palace in a last-ditch effort to form a unity government after general elections on May 6 failed to yield a clear outcome.

Papoulias on Monday suggested that he will put forward the solution of an administration of ?personalities,? or technocrats and respected political figures with broad appeal, after successive efforts by party chiefs to form a government came to an impasse.

The meeting is being attended by New Democracy’s Antonis Samaras, Independent Greeks’ Panos Kammenos, PASOK’s Evangelos Venizelos and Democratic Left’s Fotis Kouvelis. Alexis Tsipras, the head of second-placed SYRIZA declined to support a government of technocrats on Monday, but is attending the meeting amid concerns that a government without the support of SYRIZA would lack legitimacy.

Communist Party (KKE) chief Aleka Papariga had made it clear on Monday that she would not be attending the meeting, while the head of neo-fascist group Chrysi Avgi was not invited to discussions.

Kammenos was the only party chief to make statements to the press ahead of the meeting, insisting that a document said to have been sent by his office to the president claiming that Independent Greeks would support a unity government if it were a matter of «national urgency» was unsigned by him and consists of a «provocation.»