The effects of Greece's serious financial problems were widely felt: in Greece itself where street protests against cuts in services and jobs led to three deaths; in Germany and other EU countries where proposed loans to Greece were under critical review; and in the United States where Wall Street showed extreme nervousness about Greece's parlous state.

In Britain's general election the predictions of a hung parliament were fulfilled as the Conservatives won most House of Commons seats but failed to get an overall majority. Conservative leader David Cameron offered the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg, compromise on some policies if he would join a coalition. Several days of negotiation seem likely, possibly involving Mr Clegg and the Labour leader Gordon Brown whose party came second.

Thailand's prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva, offered to hold an early election in November if the Red Shirt oppostion would end its street demonstrations that have paralysed Bangkok but the opposition's leader responded with a demand for a firm date for the dissolution of parliament. n Japan's error-prone prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, had to admit that his proposal to relocate an American military base on Okinawa was not feasible.