Coalition talks to start as early as possible [update]

Negotiations for a coalition government will start as early as possible, Prime Minister George Papandreou said on his way out of the Presidential Mansion after meeting with President Karolos Papoulias on Saturday noon.

?Yesterday the government obtained a vote of confidence. Today I came to the President to inform him about my decision to contribute decisively in the creation of a national cooperation government. Its basic aim will be to vote through Parliament the bills concerning the October 27 agreement, which is a condition for us to stay in the eurozone,? said Papandreou.

?Procedures and contacts will begin at the earliest possible time,? he added.

At the same time government sources suggested on Skai radio that if there is a minimum consent with opposition leader Antonis Samaras, the Prime Minister is prepared to resign from as early as Monday evening or Tuesday morning.

Sources from the New Democracy suggested that the main opposition party is now prepared to accept political personalities in a transition government. This constitutes a departure from its insistence until Friday that the new government would only consist of technocrats.

However, there is yet to be any information about any direct contacts between officials of the country?s two main parties.