Sources: Greek finance minister plans to forge coalition

November 4, 2011 23:12

ATHENS - Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has struck a deal to stand down and let Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos form a coalition government aiming to win parliamentary approval for Greece's latest bailout, sources close to the deal told Reuters on Friday.

They said Venizelos had won the backing of leaders of some smaller parties to support the coalition, which would also aim to avert an immediate Greek bankruptcy, before calling early elections in a few months.

They stressed that the deal was conditional on Papandreou confirming he would stand down when he speaks in parliament on Friday before a confidence vote in his socialist government.

"There is some concern that Papandreou may change his mind at the last minute and all eyes are on his speech in parliament," one source said, requesting anonymity.

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