Greek Deadlock Drives European Markets Down

MOSCOW, May 14 (RIA Novosti) – The euro and European shares traded lower on Monday as Greece’s failure to form a coalition government increased uncertainty about the country’s bailout and threatened to intensify the eurozone crisis.

As of 08:55 GMT, Germany’s Dax index fell 2.15 percent to 6,438.72 points, France’s Cac 40 went down 2.39 percent to 3,055.09 and Britain’s FTSE was down 1.77 percent to 5,476.95.

The euro fell to 1.2864 to the dollar on Monday from 1.2917 to the dollar on Friday’s close.

Brent crude oil is trading at $110.53 per barrel, down 1.5 percent from the previous trading session.

The first round of talks between Greek President Karolos Papoulias and political party leaders on the formation of a coalition government following last week’s general elections ended without a deal on Sunday.

Papoulias summoned the leaders of the top three parties in the May 6 polls for one-on-one meetings after all of them failed to reach a deal over the past week, following elections which produced no clear winner. The talks are seen as a last-ditch effort to form a cabinet and avoid a second election, which analysts think may endanger Greece’s eurozone membership.

Disagreements over Greece’s bailout deal have been the main obstacle to reaching an agreement on a new government. Conservative New Democracy (ND) chief Antonis Samaras and Socialist Pasok party leader Evangelos Venizelos back the plan, but Alexis Tsipras, who leads the radical left coalition Syriza, has refused to join any government that does not reject the harsh austerity measures imposed in return for billions of euros in international rescue loans.

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