NEWS

PASOK against idea of snap elections

Socialist party spokesman has said Greece should not hold a general election after clinching an agreement on a second bailout package, suggesting instead an extension of Lucas Papademos’s tenure.

Speaking to Skai on Monday, Panos Beglitis attacked PASOK’s partners in Greece’s coalition government — New Democracy and LAOS — for adopting what he said was a populist stance during this weekend’s talks with the interim prime minister. The four met to discuss further reforms and austerity measures demanded by Greece’s foreign lenders in exchange for more aid.

After a five-hour meeting with George Papandreou, Antonis Samaras and Giorgos Karatzaferis, Papademos announced on Sunday night that agreement had been reached on certain ?basic issues,? though the heads of the two smaller parties indicated that they remained opposed to excessive austerity. Fresh talks are to be held Monday to conclude an agreement.

?There will be no agreement unless everything has been agreed upon among the three party leaders,? Beglitis, a close ally of Papandreou, said earlier on Monday.

In a letter to Papademos late Sunday, Papandreou suggested that if agreement is reached, the interim government should remain in place until 2013, rather than holding snap elections in April.

Karatzaferis, chief of the ultranationalist LAOS party, also seemed open to the idea of the Papademos administration serving a longer term but he insisted that all the PASOK ministers in the Cabinet would have to resign and be replaced by technocrats.