Samaras, Venizelos eye deal with troika on bailout exit by Dec 8

A meeting between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Deputy Premier Evangelos Venizelos on Wednesday resulted in the coalition leaders agreeing that Greece should try to build up to an agreement with its lenders by the December 8 Eurogroup to exit its bailout.

“The country has a framework for exiting the memorandum and moving to the next stage that has been thoroughly worked through and planned,” said Venizelos afterward. “What is necessary now is for us to rally behind this effort and to have the stability, unity, consensus and responsibility required.”

Venizelos also underlined that with the presidential elections coming up in February, for which the government has not yet found the 180 votes it needs to elect a successor to Karolos Papoulias, the government had to be “very careful and very responsible.”

Hinting at the possibility of early elections, if a new president is not elected, the PASOK leader said that voters might even have the final say on an agreement between the government and the troika, making it clear “if they accept and support the completed and agreed safe solution or if they will accept an adventure and a journey into the unknown.”

Venizelos made it clear that any deal to forgo the loans Greece is due to receive from the International Monetary Fund between the end of the year and spring 2016 would also include the provision of a precautionary credit line. “The government has included this parameter in its planning,” he said.

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