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Greece set to form coalition

GREEK Prime Minister George Papandreou sealed a deal on a crisis coalition to approve an international bailout, but details remain thin despite an EU ultimatum for Athens to get serious about its problems.

With Greece due to run out of money, the EU told its bickering parties to explain by today how they would form a unity government to enact the ¤130bn emergency funding package.

Papandreou, who sealed his fate last week with a disastrous attempt to call a referendum, will stand down when the new government takes over.

But otherwise he and conservative leader Antonis Samaras came up with the bare minimum to satisfy Brussels, and they must still agree on who becomes the next prime minister to lead a nation which is destabilising the eurozone.

Papandreou's side trumpeted the agreement, at talks led by President Karolos Papoulias.

"Today was a historic day for Greece," government spokesman Ilias Mossialos said, adding they would vote within the week.