Greece PM Papandreou to Resign on Friday - Report

World | November 4, 2011, Friday // 09:22|  views

According to the reports Papandreou agreed to step down in a very civilised manner, with no acrimony. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The Greek Prime Minister has agreed to resign on Friday after a broad coalition is formed with the opposition New Democracy party, according to reports.

At a cabinet meeting late on Thursday George Papandreou was told by the ministers that he had to resign for the good of the Socialist party and he agreed, media says.

According to the reports he agreed to step down in a very civilised manner, with no acrimony.

Earlier on Thursday insiders said the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is not going to resign amidst conflicting reports that his Cabinet is about to collapse.

A source from the Office of Greek President Karolos Papoulias is quoted as rejecting the reports that Papandreou had scheduled a meeting with the head of state in order to hand him his resignation.

Shortly before the Reuters report, the BBC quoted its own sources in Athens as saying that Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is expected to offer his resignation "within the next hour."

According to the British media, Papandreou was to meet with Greek President Karolos Papoulias, where he went immediately after the conclusion of an emergency cabinet meeting.

He was also expected to offer a coalition government, led by former Greek central banker and former vice president of the European Central Bank, Lucas Papademos, who enjoys the support and respect of a number of political parties.

The Greek government is on the brink of collapse after several ministers were adamant they would not support Papandreou's plan for a referendum on the EU bailout, which was set to give the heavily indebted Greek government EUR 130 B and a 50% write-off of its debts, in return for deeply unpopular austerity measures.

Top opposition leader Antonis Samaras, who heads the center-right New Democracy party called for a caretaker government and snap elections. He insists that the bailout, which was finalized on October 27, is to be passed by the current Parliament.

Papandreou had called a vote of confidence for Friday. His PASOK party has a slim majority with 152 out of 300 seats.

Amidst staggering disappointment from political parties, New Democracy is backed by 22% of the voters while PASOK is down to 14%.

Meanwhile, the G20 are holding an emergency in Cannes to discuss the Eurozone debt crisis.

Papandreou told reporters in Cannes his referendum would in effect be a vote on whether Greece should remain in the Eurozone.

But the European Commission counters that if Greece is to leave the European single currency, it would have to leave the European Union as well.

Earlier, the chairman of the group of Eurozone countries, Luxembourg's Jean-Claude Juncker, said plans were in place for a Greek exit from the Eurozone.

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Tags: Jean-Claude Juncker, Cannes, G-20, vote of confidence, confidence vote, bailout, greece, Greek, PASOK, New Democracy, Lucas Papademos, Karolos Papoulias, Antonis Samaras, George Papandreou, Prime Minister


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