The initiative is now in the President's hands

PASOK president Evangelos Venizelos is due to return his exploratory mandate to President Karolos Papoulias at 1 p.m. on Saturday, after which the President will call leaders of all parliamentary parties.

It followed the failed efforts by Venizelos to set up a coalition government on Thursday and Friday, sealed by the Coalition of the Radical Left Alexis Tsipras statement on Friday that his party would not take part in a government that included New Democracy and PASOK and which has the aim of implementing the bailout program.

It is not known when the meeting between the party chiefs will take place or exactly what the process will be, whether all leaders will sit around the same table or Papoulias will meet each one of them separately. It is possible the talks will take place on Sunday or on Monday. The Constitution does not set a time frame for talks under the President.

If no deal is reached, a caretaker government will be appointed. It will be headed by the president of the Supreme Court, Council of State or the Court of Audit.