Greece’s President has just finished hosting crunch talks between the country’s Prime Minister and the main opposition chief. George Papandreou and the opposition leader have reached an agreement on forming a unity government under a new leader.
The country’s opposition has been calling on George Papandreou to resign to bring an end to the ongoing political deadlock.
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has agreed to resign following the introduction of a new coalition government. George Papandreou will not head the interim government and the talks on details of who will form the new Cabinet will continue on Monday.
His resignation has been on everyone’s lips for some time, though he did survive a confidence vote on Saturday, with 153 votes in his favor in the 300-member parliament. At the moment Papandreou is midway through a four-year term. However, he stated he does not want to head the next government.
“I am not interested in remaining leader of the next government,” he stated.
Papandreou’s resignation was requested by opposition leader Antonis Samaras. His New Democracy – one of the country’s two largest parties – has virtually exclusive power to make the much-needed coalition government work.
“I am ready to help the country, in case if he [Papandreou] steps down. If he does not resign, he does not allow the constitution to operate properly; if he does resign, the things will go as they have to,” Samaras has announced.
Former Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos is most likely candidate to be named Papandreou’s successor. He will represent Greece at Monday’s key euro group to discuss the latest 130-billion-euro bailout package agreed on October 26.
The bailout would wipe out half of the Greece’s current debt (100 billion euro) and inject another 30 billion euro into the country’s crisis-hit private sector. In return Greece has cut government jobs, encourage privatization, and reduce budget spending.
At Venizelos’ request the new government is to govern the country for four months, paving the way for an election in early spring 2012. Papandreou discouraged intentions to hold the election immediately, as that would jeopardize the implementation of the bailout. However, the opposition still intend to hasten the election build-up.
Head of EuroCommission’s monetary affairs Ollie Rehn was quoted by Reuters earlier saying the EU is prepared for every Greek scenario including their exit from the union.
Journalist Zarkadoula Eirini told RT, as Greece’s political parties bicker over forming a coalition to save the nation, they are actually doing the exact opposite and just playing political games at a crucial time.
“They are trying to beat each other, to force each other to go back. Papandreou is trying to make [the] Greek president accept a coalition government and the President is trying to force Papandreou to resign and then create the coalition government,” she said. “But the time is limited, and somebody has to reassure Europe that Greece will be focused on the decision of October 26, because otherwise no wages and pensions can be paid. And now we see the game is not over yet. It will be a difficult night, and everyone is expecting the developments,” she added.