NEWS

PM’s next task is to bring together PASOK MPs

Prime Minister George Papandreou is due to address PASOK lawmakers on Tuesday as he continues his effort to build on the positive mood generated by eurozone leaders? decision in Brussels on Saturday to improve the terms for Greece?s 110-billion-euro loan package.

Having convened an urgent meeting of the Cabinet on Sunday, Papandreou visited President Karolos Papoulias on Monday to inform him about the agreement in Brussels and what the government?s next steps will be.

After the meeting, the prime minister repeated the message that the extension of the loan repayment period and the lowering of the interest rate were not enough on their own to rescue Greece from its dire position. ?We still have a lot to do,? Papandreou told journalists.

This is likely to be one of the main themes when he speaks to PASOK deputies today. Papandreou will use the opportunity to urge greater unity in his government, which is showing signs of wear and tear from the effort to reduce the deficit and push through structural reforms.

The prime minister will also look ahead to the European Union leaders? summit on March 24-25, when the improvement of Greece?s loan terms will be rubber-stamped and at two major policy-making moments in the next few weeks.

First, his government has to come up with a plan of action for how it will meet the targets set by the EU and the International Monetary Fund to raise 50 billion euros by 2015 from privatizations. Then, it will have to produce a fiscal policy plan stretching to 2015.