By Ria Novosti
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou promised on Saturday to form a broad coalition government with the opposition in exchange for the parliament’s support of his Cabinet in a crucial confidence vote.
“I will begin talks with the parties to create a coalition, which will be widely accepted,” Papandreou told lawmakers ahead of the vote.
He also said he was ready to discuss the candidacy for the prime minister’s post in the new government.
The Greek opposition has refused to join the new coalition government under Papandreou’s leadership, calling on the prime minister to resign.
Papandreou rejected the opposition’s demand to hold snap elections, saying it would be impossible to implement a new loan agreement with the European Union before the elections.
Euro zone leaders approved a new 130-billion-euro bailout package for Greece on October 26. Papandreou’s decision to hold a referendum on the new rescue package, which requires the Greek government to implement new tough austerity measures, sparked strong critisizm from Eruopean leaders, forcing the prime minister to drop his plans on Thursday.