PM has key meeting with party leaders

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is meeting on Saturday afternoon with the leaders of the three parties that form his coalition government as he attempts to obtain agreement on the demands for reforms made by the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, commonly known as the troika.

This will be followed by another meeting the Prime Minister will have with the troika in the evening, while negotiations for the debt swap plan are reportedly close to bearing fruit over the weekend.

Papademos will attempt to obtain a clear commitment from PASOK?s George Papandreou, New Democracy?s Antonis Samaras and Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) chief Giorgos Karatzaferis on the measures requested by the troika.

Papademos is due to take part in the European Union leaders? summit on Monday and wants to travel to Brussels convinced that he has the backing of all three party leaders. There is considerable pressure on Greece to show a clear commitment to the steps being requested so that Athens can receive a second bailout, currently slated to be 130 billion euros.

Government spokesman Pantelis Kapsis admitted that there is indeed an issue with the supply of guarantees to the troika but it has not become clear how that will happen, that is whether the signatures of the parties supporting the government will be required or in another way.

There are signs that Papademos could face a tough task in extracting support from all three party leaders. Speaking in Parliament, Karatzaferis made it clear that he would not sign any written commitments if they were requested.

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