PM to make address after speaking to leaders

Prime Minister George Papandreou is due to make a televised address on Wednesday afternoon after meeting President Karolos Papoulias and talking to the other party leaders.

Papandreou met with Papoulias for about an hour as protesters gathered in their thousands outside Parliament in an attempt to prevent MPs starting the discussion about the government?s midterm fiscal plan.

The prime minister then spoke with the leaders of all the parliamentary parties, including Democratic Alliance and Democratic Left, which were not elected in 2009 but have been formed since.

None of the parties commented on what was said during the telephone conversations.

The leader of the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) Giorgos Karatzaferis has also asked to meet with Papoulias, reportedly to explain why his party will oppose the fiscal plan.

It is not clear what Papandreou plans to say in his speech but reports suggest that he might announce a reshuffle, with the new Cabinet containing figures that are not from the world of politics.

There have been reports that Papandreou has offered to step down as prime minister in order to secure New Democracy’s participation in a government of national unity.

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