Saturday 20 January 2018

Greek opposition joins government paving way for new deal

Damien McElroy

GREEK opposition leaders have caved in to pressure to join the coalition cabinet, clearing the last obstacle to a deal which would see Lucas Papademos, a former central banker, lead the country to implement austerity.

Prime Minister George Papandreou is to hold an emergency cabinet meeting in the next hour to brief members on the deal and accept the resignation of his socialsit team.

A spokesman for Antonis Samaras, the conservative opposition leader, said the party had reversed its position that it would not serve in the government, just support its parliamentary agenda.

The former European Central Bank vice-president Mr Papademos set a series of demands that prevented agreement between the two main parties on Monday.

State television channel NET said Papademos wanted to extend the new government's term to beyond February 19, a date tentatively set for a fresh round of elections, and appoint opposition conservatives to the new cabinet.

The names of two fall-back candidates were also circulating: 69-year-old European ombudsman Nikiforos Diamantouros and Greece's man at the IMF, 64-year-old former finance minister Panagiotis Roumeliotis.

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