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 5th UPDATE: Greek Political Parties Agree To Form Unity Government

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Yeni mövzuMövzu: 5th UPDATE: Greek Political Parties Agree To Form Unity Government   5th UPDATE: Greek Political Parties Agree To Form Unity Government Icon_minitimeB.e. Noy. 07, 2011 3:42 am

Greece's major political parties on Sunday agreed to form a national unity government that will lead the country to new elections after putting in place a debt-slashing deal, in the hope of averting financial catastrophe for the country and winning back the trust of its European partners.

The deal was made possible after Prime Minister George Papandreou agreed to step down to make way for a new prime minister under a commonly accepted government.

Late Sunday, Papandreou and Antonis Samaras, leader of the main wholesale jerseys opposition New Democracy party, held talks that were chaired by President Karolos Papoulias. The meeting was an effort to bridge differences about the person who will lead the bipartisan government, as well as its life span and powers. But few details emerged after the 45-minute meeting.

"At their meeting, the two leaders have agreed to form a new government that will aim at leading the country to elections after implementation of decisions from the European Council on Oct. 26," Papoulias said after the meeting.

The Ministry of Finance said in a statement later that a possible date for the elections was Feb. 19 as part of an agreed timeframe for the implementation of the EUR130 billion loan agreement.

As part of the deal, Papandreou won't lead the unity government, Papoulias said, adding that the two leaders on Monday will discuss who they plan to name as prime minister.

Former European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos cheap mlb jerseys has emerged as a favorite candidate to lead the new government.

The former ECB official hasn't yet commented publicly on whether he is interested in the post, but people familiar with his thinking have said he would only join a government that would be free of partisan politics and has the powers to push through with necessary measures.

Papademos, who has taught at Harvard University since leaving the ECB in 2010, is widely known and respected in Europe and brings with him a long financial policy pedigree that could reassure other euro-zone leaders and financial markets, where confidence in Greek debt-crisis nfl jerseys cheap management this week reached a new low.

Government spokesman Elias Mossialos said cabinet ministers serving in the new coalition will be named as early as Monday and the new government could be sworn in by the end of the week.

The president said he will also on Monday call a meeting of Greece's political-party leaders to seek their backing for the unity government.

Despite announcing an agreement, many details remain outstanding. Representatives from the two parties are meeting through the night to agree on the mandate and term of the new government.

"I am disappointed by the outcome because they didn't agree on anything," jerseys wholesalesaid Anthony Livanios, an independent political analyst. "What did they agree on? That there would be a unity government and that Papandreou will not be its leader, but we still don't know who it will be. I was expecting an announcement on who the next prime minister of the country would be."

The agreement comes after a week of turmoil in Greek politics that threatened to derail the country's latest Europe-led bailout and raised questions over its commitment to remain within the euro zone.

Earlier Sunday, Papandreou told an emergency cabinet meeting that he will resign once there is agreement with the opposition on a new government.

"I will hand over to the next government if there is an agreement and we conclude on this. I hope this happens soon. When I say soon, I mean today, not tomorrow," he said, according to a transcript of his comments.

Papandreou's expected departure after a tumultuous two years in power caps a week that started with his call for a referendum on the European Union aid deal reached a week earlier and climaxed in a vote of confidence early Saturday morning. Papandreou carried the vote, but said yotoforum he would start the procedure for a coalition government to take over.

The quest for a Greek unity government is aimed at avoiding an early, messy debt default and uncontrolled exit from the euro, a prospect that had loomed large in the past seven days of political turmoil in Athens.

Papandreou--scion of Greece's leading political clan--faced an open revolt within his Socialist party, known as Pasok, and came under intense pressure to step down over his referendum plan on the freshly minted aid agreement.

Greece was under pressure to have agreement on a new government by Monday, ahead of a meeting of euro-zone finance ministers in Brussels that is expected to discuss whether to release Greece's next aid payment.

"There was pressure from the euro zone to have an agreement before markets open Monday," a cabinet minister said. "This agreement has been reached."

Papandreou's plan for a referendum angered Greece's euro-zone partners who raised questions about the country's commitment to stay within the currency bloc and blocked further aid until the government takes steps to implement the loan agreement and the necessary fiscal and structural cheap jerseys overhauls. Without fresh aid, Greece will run out of money by mid-December.

Papandreou has since dropped the referendum plan and Samaras's party has committed to back the loan agreement reached on Oct. 27.

Samaras earlier called for Papandreou's immediate resignation, and signaled that he was open to talks with the governing socialists over forming a coalition government.

But finding a consensus on the person that will lead the new government won't be easy.

The Socialists favor a politician, possibly from their own party, to head the new government. New Democracy says it should be led by a nonpartisan technocrat, or one of their own people.

Apart from Papademos, veteran diplomat Petros Molyviatis, who negotiated Greece's entry into the EU, and former European Commissioner Stavros Dimas are also being considered, according to some people familiar with the talks.

Both Molyviatis and Dimas are members of New Democracy, with Dimas still serving as vice president of the party.

"Papademos is by far the best choice, he is well known both in Greece and in Europe," Livanios said. "Dimas is also well-known in Europe and would be acceptable to the Europeans, but he may not be acceptable to Pasok party members."

But in the cabinet meeting, several ministers rejected any candidates from New Democracy.

The mandate of the new government is another sticking point, with Papandreou insisting any coalition government should have the power to pass legislation relating to the EU aid deal. New Democracy has said it should only ratify the loan agreement and proceed to elections to allow the newly elected government to determine the necessary policies.

Following Sunday's cabinet meeting, the government released a road map of seven actions that need to be secured in coming weeks. Under this plan, Greece's state budget for 2012 must be submitted to Parliament by 2012, the International Monetary Fund must ratify the payment of a sixth aid tranche on Nov. 21, while payments for the recapitalization of Greece's banks and other aid under the new loan agreement should kick in from early January to keep the country afloat.
"One thing is certain, they can't step back from this agreement and the new prime minister will be someone that has full understanding of the negotiations between Greece and its creditors," an official familiar with the talks said. "Senior party officials will burn the night oil tonight to reach a common agenda especially on the economy."
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