Greek Parties Postpone Agreement on Interim Government

Posted November 8th, 2011 at 8:05 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Greek party leaders stopped a winding debate on the new coalition government early Wednesday without reaching consensus and will resume talks later in the day.

Outgoing Prime Minister George Papandreou and main opposition leader Antonis Samaras have been locked in talks since Monday on who will lead a power-sharing government until early elections in February.

Mr. Papandreou has agreed to step down after getting the opposition to support an international bailout deal for his country.

State-run Greek television reported Tuesday that economist Lucas Papademos would be the country’s interim prime minister as the debt-ridden country struggles to meet the demands of international creditors. But by the end of the day the former vice president of the European Central Bank was not confirmed.

The European Union demanded that both sides sign a written commitment to carry out unpopular austerity measures as part of the debt-relief plan approved last month for Greece. Samaras balked at a written statement, calling it an insult “national dignity,” and that his verbal assent to the plan ought to be sufficient.

Mr. Papandreou had demanded the resignations of his cabinet as he moved toward agreement on the coalition government.

European finance ministers were waiting for the formation of a new government in Greece before deciding whether to hand the country another $11 billion segment of its 2010 bailout.