Parties agree on early Greek elections date

By Agence France-Presse
Monday, November 7, 2011 0:03 EDT
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The two main Greek political parties have agreed on February 19 as the best date for early elections in the debt-strapped eurozone country, the finance ministry said.

At a meeting held late Sunday alongside one that grouped party leaders George Papandreou and Antonis Samaras, delegations from the socialist PASOK and the rightist New Democracy agreed the “most appropriate date” for the elections would be February 19, the ministry said in a brief statement.

Opposition leader Samaras has for weeks been demanding immediate elections as a condition for his party’s supporting the European plan to save the country from bankruptcy.

Late Sunday he finally agreed to take part in a unity government that would enable Greece to ratify the anti-crisis plan, on condition that general elections would be decided upon.

Prime Minister Papandreou had previously opposed early elections as his country’s financial commitments in the face of its enormous debt do not leave any scope for instability.

The meeting on elections was attended by Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos — who heads the Greek delegation at a eurogroup meeting Monday in Brussels — and Petros Christodoulou, head of the agency that deals with the public debt, the statement said.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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