Meeting to name new PM ends without agreement

Political leaders are to meet with President Karolos Papoulias for a second time on Thursday at 10 a.m. after talks aimed at agreeing on the formation of an interim government reached an impasse on Wednesday.

It had appeared that parliamentary speaker Filippos Petsalnikos was to be appointed prime minister after Prime Minister George Papandreou made a televised address announcing he was stepping down.

However, a meeting with New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras and Papoulias, which began at about 6.30 p.m. ended without agreement.

The leader of the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) Giorgos Karatzaferis stormed out of the talks, claiming that he had been kept waiting in a side room while Papandreou, Samaras and Papoulias held talks in a meeting room.

Karatzaferis said that he rejected the option of appointing Petsalnikos, an experienced politician but with a long association with PASOK.

The LAOS leader said that former European Central Bank Vice President Lucas Papademos is the only suitable candidate.