Greece OKs New Government at 11th Hour

Replacement for Papandreou not yet found
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2011 3:37 PM CST
Greece's Prime Minister George Papandreou arrives for a cabinet meeting at the parliament in Athens on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011.   (AP Photo/Kostas Tsironis)
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(Newser) – Greek leaders emerged from crisis talks today agreeing to form a new unity government without Prime Minister George Papandreou—but it's not clear they've agreed on much else, the New York Times reports. The new government is expected to put in place a debt deal that European Union leaders are offering Greece to avoid bankruptcy. But Papandreou says he will only step down if the opposition accepts austerity measures, which implies that the two sides have much to work out.

“It’s clear this government is prepared to hand over the baton, but it can’t hand it over into a vacuum,” says Papandreou, who wants the opposition to accept a seven-point plan that includes meeting fiscal targets and releasing rescue funds. But it's not clear whether opposition leader Antonis Samaras and his New Democracy party—which vehemently oppose all austerity measures—have agreed to the plan. Papandreou and Samaras are expected to meet tomorrow to iron out the details and talk about a new leader.

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