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Markets hit by Greece impasse, after Tsipras renews pledge to ax bailout debt

  • Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras packs his papers after his government's policy statement at the parliament in Athens, on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. Tsipras came to power two weeks ago riding a wave of hope for change. But his pledge to rewrite the bailout agreement that has kept the country afloat for nearly five years doesn't depend on him alone. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras packs his papers after his government's policy statement at the parliament in Athens, on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. Tsipras came to power two weeks ago riding a wave of hope for change. But his pledge to rewrite the bailout agreement that has kept the country afloat for nearly five years doesn't depend on him alone. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addresses the parliament during his government's policy statement in Athens, on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. Tsipras came to power two weeks ago riding a wave of hope for change. But his pledge to rewrite the bailout agreement that has kept the country afloat for nearly five years doesn't depend on him alone. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras addresses the parliament during his government's policy statement in Athens, on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015. Tsipras came to power two weeks ago riding a wave of hope for change. But his pledge to rewrite the bailout agreement that has kept the country afloat for nearly five years doesn't depend on him alone. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Evzones, Greek Presidential Guards, changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown Soldier outside the parliament in Athens, on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. Investors hammered Greece's markets on Monday after the country's new government renewed a pledge to seek bailout debt forgiveness, setting up a clash with European lenders. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Evzones, Greek Presidential Guards, changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown Soldier outside the parliament in Athens, on Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. Investors hammered Greece's markets on Monday after the country's new government renewed a pledge to seek bailout debt forgiveness, setting up a clash with European lenders. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)  (The Associated Press)

Shares on the Athens Stock Exchange have opened sharply lower after Greece's new government renewed a pledge to seek bailout debt forgiveness despite growing pressure from European lenders to stick to austerity.

Amid wider European losses, Greek shares were down 4.2 percent in early trading Sunday, while borrowing rates were back up, pushing yields on the country's 3-year-bonds to more than 18 percent.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in his inaugural speech in parliament late Sunday described an election pledge by his left wing Syriza party to seek debt restructuring as "irrevocable."

Tsipras argues Greece's debt will be increasingly unsustainable unless it receives generous repayment relief that would allow its battered economy to recover.