Wednesday, November 9, 2011

New Greek govt to be announced today: Official

A new Greek interim govt will be announced on Wednesday afternoon, a govt official said, after critical power-sharing talks between the country's two parties dragged into a third day despite intense European pressure.

Negotiations between Prime Minister George Papandreou and opposition leader Antonis Samaras began Monday in an effort to resolve a political crisis that has threatened to leave Greece without its vital bailout loans and raised the possibility of the country leaving the euro.
The two reached a historic weekend agreement to forge an interim government that will shepherd the country's new a 130 billion (USD 179 billion) European rescue package through Parliament and end an intense political crisis that threatened Greece's solvency and membership of the euro.
Papandreou has agreed to step aside once a deal is reached. His surprise announcement last week that he would put the new debt deal to a referendum sparked the latest political crisis, leading to an angry backlash from European leaders who had hammered out the agreement barely a week before, and a revolt from Papandreou's own Socialist lawmakers.
He withdrew the plan after Samaras indicated he would back the debt deal. As coalition talks spilled into a third day without any public announcement of who will take over as interim premier, a government official said Papandreou would visit the country's president by around midday.
The official said the makeup of the new Cabinet would be announced in the afternoon following a meeting between party leaders.
According to protocol, government changes must be announced to the president, who holds a largely ceremonial post.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the record.

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