Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Gunmen kill scores in Iraqi Sunni mosque attack

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Europe

Papandreou seeks new coalition after surviving crucial vote

Video by Aude Soufi , Sammy BERRAHMOUN

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-05

Having narrowly survived a confidence vote, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou met President Karolos Papoulias on Saturday in a bid to form a new coalition government that would push through a vital but unpopular €130 billion bailout package.

AP - Greece’s prime minister struggled Saturday to form a temporary coalition government in the near-bankrupt country, extending a political deadlock threatening billions in international rescue funds.

In an impassioned plea to parliament late Friday, George Papandreou agreed to step aside as premier if necessary to help hammer out a coalition, offering to include the conservative opposition party - a possibility swiftly rejected by its leader.

Papandreou said a new coalition government would need four months to secure the new €130 billion ($179 billion) rescue agreement and demonstrate the country’s commitment to remaining in the eurozone. “Cooperation is necessary to guarantee - for Greece and for our partners - that we can honor our commitments,” Papandreou said at a meeting Saturday with President Karolos Papoulias, hours after his Socialist government narrowly survived a confidence vote.

“I am concerned that a lack of cooperation could trouble how our partners see our will and desire to remain in the central core of the European Union and the euro.”

But Papandreou’s plea was snubbed by conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras.

“We have not asked for any place in his government. All we want is for Mr. Papandreou to resign, because he has become dangerous for the country,” Samaras said in a televised address. “We insist on immediate elections.” Samaras was due to meet the president at 1:00 p.m. (1100GMT) Sunday. Frustrated with Greece’s protracted political disagreements, the country’s creditors have threatened to withhold the next critical €8 billion ($11 billion) loan installment until the new debt deal is formally approved in Greece.

Greece is surviving on a €110 billion ($150 billion) rescue-loan program from eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund. It is currently finalizing a second major deal: to receive an additional €130 billion ($179 billion) in rescue loans and bank support, with banks agreeing to cancel 50 percent of their Greek debt.

Midway through his four-year term, Papandreou was forced by his austerity-weary Socialist party into seeking cross-party support after he abandoned a disastrous proposal to hold a referendum on a new European debt deal - which prompted havoc on world markets and anger from creditors. Papandreou’s popularity has been battered by two years of punishing austerity, causing crippling strikes, violent protests and sharp drop in living standards for ordinary Greeks who face repeated rounds of tax hikes and cuts in pension and salaries.

Could Greece quit the eurozone?

Late Friday, Papandreou won a confidence vote in the Socialist-led parliament on a pledge that he was willing to quit and form a caretaker coalition.

But he insisted an immediate election would paralyze government and endanger the new rescue deal.

The conservative snub left Papandreou with limited options: negotiating with conservative splinter groups and independents to attract consensus, and possibly invite respected non-politicians to join the effort. “(Papandreou) will not resign immediately and he cannot resign before there is a new government. What remains to be seen is how flexible he will be in seeking a different governmental makeup,” Ilias Nicolacopoulos, a prominent political analyst told AP television. “There will be a tough game of poker.”
 

Date created : 2011-11-05

  • GREECE

    Papandreou survives confidence vote

    Read more

  • GREECE

    Greek leaders break ranks over referendum on bailout

    Read more

  • EUROZONE

    A seven-point summary of the Eurozone crisis summit

    Read more

COMMENT(S)