NEWS

Samaras to meet coalition leaders

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who is expected to return to work in earnest on Tuesday following surgery to his retina last week, was to meet on Monday at 6 p.m. with the leaders of his coalition government, Socialist Pasok chief Evangelos Venizelos and Fotis Kouvelis of the Democratic Left, ahead of negotiations with officials representing Greece’s foreign creditors due to begin on Tuesday.

The country’s Finance Minister-in waiting Yiannis Stournaras on Monday met with other ministers to discuss tactics ahead of the talks and was to brief Samaras later in the day.

Stournaras, an economist and experienced government adviser, was appointed as finance minister last week and is expected to be sworn in this week before the government’s scheduled presentation in Parliament of its policy program on Thursday. Samaras is to launch the presentation with a speech that will be followed by individual speeches by his ministers and then a debate that will culminate at midnight on Sunday in a vote of confidence in the new government.

Samaras, who missed last week’s crucial EU summit last after doctors advised him not to travel following surgery, sent a letter to European leaders, vowing to meet Greece’s commitments but seeking modifications to the terms of the debt deal in view of a deeper-than-expected recession.

The doctor treating Samaras said the conservative leader would be able to assume his duties this week. ?Everything is progressing satisfactorily and I don?t see any reason why the prime minister won?t be able to attend the presentation of the government?s policy program in Parliament on Thursday,? Panagiotis Theodosiadis told reporters outside the premier’s home in Kifissia, northern Athens on Sunday.