Greece to call May 6 election, government officials say

April 11, 2012 02:16

ATHENS - Greece will call a snap election for May 6 on Wednesday, government officials said, launching a campaign that may produce no clear results and risk implementation of the bailout plan that saved Athens from bankruptcy.

The election will be the first since the debt crisis exploded at the end of 2009, dragging the country into its worst economic recession since World War II, pushing unemployment to record highs and shaking the euro.

The conservative New Democracy and the Socialist PASOK, which back the interim government of technocrat Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, have suffered in opinion polls for supporting the bailout plan and may not gather enough votes to rule.

Polls show small parties opposing the steep wage and pension cuts imposed by the EU and the IMF in return for aid are gaining ground and may stop the leading parties from even forming a coalition government.

Papademos is set to ask Greek President Karolos Papoulias to call the snap general election and dissolve parliament at a meeting scheduled for 1400 GMT on Wednesday, government officials said.

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