Greek coalition partners agree on Feb 19 election date

November 7, 2011 02:24


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ATHENS - Greece's main political parties agreed on Monday that elections should be held on Feb 19, the finance ministry said.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Deputy Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis met with representatives from the New Democracy opposition party to discuss the timeframe of a coalition government agreed late on Sunday to help Greece push through a bailout deal it needs to avoid running out of cash next month.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and opposition leader Antonis Samaras agreed on the coalition after the European Union piled pressure on the country to resolve a political stalemate.

The Feb 19 deadline should give Greece's new government sufficient time to complete a bond exchange to reduce the country's debt, as part of the bailout deal agreed by EU leaders on Oct. 26, a finance ministry source told Reuters.

Venizelos is due to attend a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels later on Monday.

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