Greece's decision to return to the ballot box in the search fora government unleashed a hazardous new phase in Europe's debtcrisis, with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble calling thevote a referendum on whether the country stays in the euro.

Post-election attempts to form a ruling coalition in Athensbroke down today after nine days, sending Greeks back to the pollsnext month with surveys giving the lead to an anti-bailout partythat would tear up the conditions attached to 240 billion euros($307 billion) of aid.

“If Greece — and this is the will of the great majority — wantsto stay in the euro, then they have to accept the conditions,”Schaeuble told reporters at a meeting of European finance ministersin Brussels. “Otherwise it isn't possible. No responsible candidatecan hide that from the electorate.”

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