NEWS

Interim gov’t ‘to decide new measures’

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos attempted to establish a decisive role for his interim government Wednesday as he indicated that it would be the one to agree to any new austerity and reform measures with Greece?s lenders rather than leave it to any administration that would emerge from early elections.

Speaking last night at a conference organized by the Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce, Papademos said if Greece fails to meet its fiscal targets this year — as seems almost certain — then his government would negotiate further measures with the troika.

?We will implement all the measures that have been agreed and if it emerges that the targets were missed, it is self-evident that we will do whatever is necessary so that the country meets its obligations,? said Papademos.

Sources close to the interim prime minister said that the current government would negotiate all the measures Greece will be required to adopt between 2012 and 2015 with European Union and International Monetary Fund officials. The same sources suggested that Papademos would demand support for the steps from all three parties taking part in his administration and that the prime minister would consider reshuffling the Cabinet if some members appear to be reluctant to support its mission.

The suggestion that the interim government will negotiate further terms with the troika appears to run counter to the assertion on Tuesday by Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos that any corrective steps would be agreed by the next government.

Venizelos met with PASOK chief George Papandreou Wednesday to discuss the potential leadership contest in the Socialist party. PASOK?s political council is due to meet next week, when the details of the contest will be agreed.