NEWS

Diamantopoulou: Interim gov’t must be given ‘enough time’

Anna Diamantopoulou, health minister in the provisional government led by technocrat economist Lucas Papademos, on Monday said that Greece’s crisis coalition must be given enough time to fulfill its mission.

In a statement posted on her blog on Monday, Diamantopoulou, who is touted as one of the main contenders to succeed George Papandreou at the helm of PASOK socialists, said the interim administration should be allowed ?enough time to implement a series of extremely difficult and immediate objectives.?

The coalition government — which involves members from PASOK, New Democracy and LAOS — was formed in Novermber with the aim of securing a 130 billion euro bailout deal with the eurozone and avert the debt-ridden nation’s default, before holding an early election tentatively scheduled for February 19.

But Greece’s politicians are now divided about the timing of the vote, some saying Papademos should get a longer mandate.

In an interview with Kathimerini on Sunday, Former President Costis Stephanopoulos appealed to Greece’s political parties to ?stop seeking elections? and to ?give [Papademos] enough time? to create political and economic stability.

A recent Public Issue poll found that Greek voters are divided over the prospect of early national elections, with one in two being against the idea of holding snap polls.

Greece began a round of talks with the EU, the IMF and bankers on Monday, with negotiators facing a tight timetable to decide key aspects of a new bailout plan to pull the country out of its economic crisis.