Papoulias discerns elements of optimism

President Karolos Papoulias discerned optimistic elements in the account that PASOK President Evangelos Venizelos rendered to him upon returning the exploratory mandate for the formation of a coalition government on Saturday afternoon.

It is now up to Papoulias to invite the leaders of all parliamentary parties and seek out whether there is any chance of a coalition government, otherwise the country will revert to the people for a fresh election in June. The President hinted that his effort will begin during the weekend.

Venizelos told Papoulias upon entering the Presidential Mansion that ?New Democracy, PASOK and the Democratic Left are in agreement on the need to form a pro-European government for two years, aimed at keeping Greece in the eurozone and at improving the terms of the bailout agreement for the eventual overcoming of it.

?However, that requires the participation of SYRIZA [the Coalition of the Radical Left] and Mr [Alexis] Tsipras, and I have not got a positive response from that direction,? admitted Venizelos.

Papoulias responded that ?there are some nuggets of optimism in this, and I hope I can contribute in the formation of the government as things are very difficult. Next week we have the Eurogroup and ECOFIN [meetings], the NATO Convention, the EU summit, etc.?

Yet just before his meeting with Venizelos, Papoulias told journalists on camera that ?what you need to consider is that you need to work over the weekends as well, and without pay,? which may well mean that he intends to begin consultations with party chiefs before Monday.