Papandreou to step down; talks over new gov't begin
07. November 2011. | 10:09 14:24
Source: Emg.rs, AMNA
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou confirmed on Sunday evening that he will not lead a new consensus government expected to be announced on Monday or in the next few days.The two parties agreed on a specific timeframe, leading to the holding of general elections in 103 days' time.
The development was conveyed via a brief written statement issued by the president of the republic's office after the end of a 1 1/2-hour meeting chaired by President Karolos Papoulias with Papandreou and main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras. AMNA
The announcement stated that the new government will be assigned the eagerly watched task of ratifying and implementing the latest agreements with Eurozone partners and creditors -- emanating from the Oct. 26, 2011 EU summit -- before leading the country to snap elections, although no specific date was cited.
The announcement stated that Papandreou and Samaras will confer on Monday to agree over the individual invited to assume the premiership and other members of the new national unity government.
Representatives of both the prime minister and the main opposition leader will also meet on Monday morning, or even overnight, for negotiations towards this end, (AMNA) the announcement read.
On the crucial economic front, a high-ranking delegation of finance ministry officials, including Finance Minister and Deputy PM Evangelos Venizelos, was scheduled to meet before midnight in Athens with a trio of top economic advisers close to Samaras, given that another crucial Eurogroup is scheduled for Monday in Brussels.
Finally, Papoulias will convene a council of Parliament-represented political leaders on Monday.
Samaras chairs broad ND meeting
A broad meeting was chaired on Monday morning by main opposition New Democracy (ND) leader Antonis Samaras with the participation of top ranking party officials to set out the framework of Sunday night's agreement for a new government.
According to sources, Samaras stressed that the destabilisation of Greece's relations with the EU that would have resulted from prime minister George Papandreou's handlings was the reason that led to his decision on Sunday to "sit at the same table" with Papandreou.
Samaras explained that the new government would be of a limited mission and time, with the sole purpose of managing the results of the October 26 eurozone summit decisions and to lead the country to general elections, with the simultaneous removal of Papandreou from the prime ministership.
Election date set for 19 February 2012
The die is cast by Pasok and New Democracy, who have decided that early elections will take place on February 19.
The two parties agreed on a specific timeframe, leading to the holding of general elections in 103 days' time.
The next general elections in Greece were scheduled for October 2013.