Greek party deal on new crisis premier collapses
Wednesday 09 November 2011
A deal on forming a Greek national unity government collapsed today as the country headed towards an economic abyss, hours after
outgoing Prime Minister George Papandreou said he was handing over to a
coalition that does not exist.
In a day that was bizarre and chaotic even by Greek political standards, Papandreou wished his successor well and headed off to meet the president - only for it to emerge that there was no successor due to feuding in the political parties.
Earlier, party sources said senior members of the socialist and conservative camps had settled on the speaker of parliament, veteran socialist Filippos Petsalnikos, barring last-minute snags.
Snags did indeed emerge, with large sections of Papandreou's PASOK party and the conservative New Democracy refusing to back Petsalnikos after a three-day hunt for someone to lead the coalition until early elections in February.
Greeks and the nation's international lenders have watched in growing horror for three days as party leaders feuded over a shrinking list of credible candidates to lead the national unity coalition after Papandreou's government imploded.
Greece will run out of money next month unless the new government comes agrees emergency funding with the European Union and International Monetary Fund, Greece's last remaining lenders, including a €130 billion bailout.
Bring back Papademos
Some lawmakers said the parties would have to return to an earlier plan - apparently stalled - of recruiting Lucas Papademos, a former vice-president of the European Central Bank, to head the new government as a technocrat and give it the credibility that politicians lost long ago.
"The only solution is Papademos. If he accepts by tomorrow morning we will be able to form a strong government that will pull the country out of the crisis," Socialist lawmaker Spyros Vougias told Reuters.
Papandreou and New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras began talks with President Karolos Papoulias on a new coalition to save Greece from bankruptcy. But before leaders of smaller parties could join them to seal the coalition, the talks were abruptly halted.
The president's office said a meeting of party leaders would be held at 0800 GMT on Thursday, although in the current chaotic atmosphere political talks are often delayed or fail to happen at all.
"This whole affair does not do us much honour," said one member of Papandreou's cabinet, who asked not to be named. "There are moves by MPs in both major parties to sign a joint letter against Petsalnikos."
Party sources said some lawmakers saw Petsalnikos as a pawn of Papandreou, and attacked him for supporting the prime minister's failed plan to call a referendum on the bailout, which brought his socialist government to its knees.
(Additional reporting by Harry Papachristou, Renee Maltezou and
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
...and it wasn't caused by an asteroid crash, as first thought
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 4 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Stella McCartney apologises over controversial 'very ill' model picture on Instagram
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Cheryl Cole named 'the most dangerous celebrity' on the internet
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£26000 - £28000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...
£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: English Teacher required for ...
£55000 - £60000 Per Annum plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...