Greek left-wing leader attacks EU and Merkel
(LONDON) - The leader of Greece's left-wing Syriza bloc has accused the European Union and German Chancellor Angela Merkel of "playing poker with European people's lives", in an interview with the BBC on Wednesday.
Syriza, which wants to renegotiate Greece's international bailout, is tipped to come first in new elections to be held June 17 by the troubled eurozone member.
The bloc's leader Alexis Tsipras told the BBC that if the "disease of austerity destroys Greece, it will spread to the rest of Europe".
He said that banks were making big profits at the expense of people in Greece, but also in Spain and Italy, who were finding life increasingly hard.
"Therefore the European leadership and especially Mrs Merkel need to stop playing poker with the lives of people," Tsipras said.
In general elections on May 6, voters deserted the main Pasok and New Democracy parties which had supported tough austerity measures included in a 240-billion euro ($300 billion) EU-IMF deal.
Syriza came second in the inconclusive election and no party has been able to form a coalition since the poll.
Panagiotis Pikrammenos, the head of Greece's top administrative court, was on Wednesday appointed caretaker premier and given the task of organising the fresh elections next month.
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