With the future of Greece's internationally mandated austerity measures hanging in the balance, the prospects for a new government in Athens are rapidly fading just four days after inconclusive parliamentary elections.
The elections left no clear winner. The conservative New Democracy party, which won the most votes, and the Radical Left Coalition, or Syriza, which came in second, have both already tried and failed to form a government. The baton now passes to the traditionally dominant socialist PASOK party, which came in a distant third in Sunday's polling.
Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left, or Syriza, speaks to the press in Athens on Tuesday, May 8, after the Greek president gave him a mandate to form a government. Tsipras has three days to put together a coalition. An attempt by a conservative party has already failed.
Greek newspapers on display at a newsstand in Athens on Monday after a stunning weekend election shake-up by parties opposed to further vital austerity cuts.
Credit Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP/Getty Images
Europe's unsettled political climate after the weekend elections in France and Greece raise one obvious question: What's next?
The elections, in which French President Nicolas Sarkozy was defeated and Greece's major political parties struggled to form a governing coalition, have raised fears about the political and economic stability of the European Union. Some potential scenarios coming out of the elections: