Athens: Early elections will be held in
Greece in late April, the finance minister said, adding that
the country`s future would be decided in a debt rollover plan
unfolding over the next month.
"Elections will be held after Easter, in late April,"
Evangelos Venizelos told a meeting of the socialist Pasok
party, one of the three partners supporting the coalition
government of caretaker Prime Minister Lucas Papademos.
"The future of the country will be decided from January
16 and for the following two or three weeks, during which
negotiations on the new programme will be held," Venizelos
said yesterday, referring to a eurozone bailout which includes
the debt rollover.
Papademos, a technocrat, heads a government set up in
November of the former ruling Socialists, the centre-right New
Democracy and a far-right nationalist party, Laos, with the
aim of implementing a second debt EU-IMF bailout agreed in
The government`s sole task is supposed to be to negotiate
the modalities of the October agreement and to get the
measures through Parliament.
EU, ECB and IMF officials are expected back in Athens
next month to review the country`s progress on meeting targets
set under a first 2010 debt bailout and how far it has got in
preparing to implement the second, October package.
With the economy deep in recession, Athens has found it
increasingly hard to meet the targets of the bailout,
prompting some in the government to suggest that more
austerity measures might be needed.