Business, Finance & Economics

VIDEO: Economists fearful of consequences as Greeks move to have another set of elections

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Newly appointed caretaker Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos is sworn in during a ceremony at the Presidential palace in Athens May 16, 2012. (Photo by Yorgos Karahalis/Reuters.)

Turmoil in Greece continues with all efforts to form a new government having collapsed, a caretaker government having been appointed and new elections scheduled for June.

And that's the predictable part. Across Europe, there are concerns the Greek uncertainty could lead to further economic troubles across Europe and the complete disintegration of the eurozone.

And if the dire projections have economists concerned, politicians are sticking to their guns. Greek President Karolos Papoulias brought together the political parties to name a caretaker prime minister, but the parties couldn't even agree on who would hold the government together until new elections are held June 17. So Papoulias turned to a respected Greek judge, Panayiotis Pikramenos. Pikramenos, whose name translates roughly to "embittered," will keep the government functioning but won't be empowered to enter any details with NATO or the EU.

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"In a televised conversation between the two men, Mr. Pikramenos said the role was 'a great burden' but thanked the president for 'putting your trust in me,' " The New York Times wrote. Pikramenos "added wistfully that he had perhaps the most appropriate name for the job."

Among the new concerns that have emerged in recent days is a worry that the Greeks will react to their political uncertainty by pulling their savings out of banks and moving that money out of the country, further depressing the country's economy. According to the Times, nearly $900 million was withdrawn on Monday alone.

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European political leaders continued to sound a warm tone toward Greece, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and José Manuel Durão Barroso, the president of the European Union Commission, both saying that it was in Greece and the EU's best interest for Greece to honor its commitments and remain part of the eurozone.

Whether that's even possible, though, is hard to say.

In an interview with the BBC, Alexis Tsipras, who heads the left-wing Syriza bloc accused Merkel and the EU banks of playing poke with Greeks' lives. Syriza, according to polls, is expected to be the first-place finisher in the next round of elections.

If the "disease of austerity destroys Greece, it will spread to the rest of Europe," Tsipras said to the BBC. "Therefore the European leadership and especially Mrs Merkel need to stop playing poker with the lives of people."

Syriza was at the center of the failure to form a coalition government. Tsipras refused to join any coalition government that intended to continue with EU and IMF austerity measures. The measures are designed as a condition of receiving more loans that allow the Greek government to keep functioning and paying its debt.

Pikramenos will be sworn into office Wednesday night with the rest of the government being formed on Thursday.

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