Tsipras says Greek euro exit bad for Europe

AP News

5/10/2012 1:12:37 PM - AP News

The head of Greece's Radical Left Coalition says a Greek exit from the euro would damage both the country and Europe, but insists the austerity measures imposed by international creditors are too harsh and must be changed.

Alexis Tsipras told The Associated Press on Thursday that an insistence on further austerity policies would lead to the disintegration of the 17-nation euro currency. He also says pulling the plug on European financial assistance for Greece would endanger the continent's social cohesion.

Tsipras came a surprise second in Sunday's election, which hammered Greece's two formerly dominant parties of New Democracy and PASOK. The vote produced a deadlock, with no party winning enough seats in Parliament to form a government.

All parties have been negotiating since Monday to form a coalition.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) _ The head of Greece's Radical Left Coalition admits that a Greek exit from the euro would damage both the country and Europe, but says the austerity measures imposed to get rescue loans are too harsh and must be changed.

Alexis Tsipras told The Associated Press on Thursday that an insistence on further austerity policies would lead to the disintegration of the 17-nation euro currency. He also says pulling the plug on European financial assistance for Greece would endanger the continent's social cohesion.

Tsipras came a surprise second in Sunday's election, which hammered Greece's two formerly dominant parties of New Democracy and PASOK. The vote produced a deadlock, with no party winning enough seats in Parliament to form a government.

All parties have been negotiating since Monday to form a coalition.