Greek’s prime minister to quit in deal to salvage bailout package
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will step down as his government’s leader, the country’s president announced Sunday night — agreeing to do so on the condition that the controversial 130 billion euro bailout deal is approved.
The announcement comes after Papandreou met with Antonis Samaras, the head of the New Democracy party, Greece’s leading opposition party. The two will meet again Monday to discuss who will become the nation’s next prime minister as well as who will serve in the new government, according to the statement from President Karolos Papoulias.
The decision appears to close one chapter in Greece’s tumultuous political and economic saga, as Papandreou had become a lightning rod for critics for his leadership of the south European nation as it tackles a prolonged financial crisis.
It also paves the way for passage of the agreement that he negotiated October 26 with European leaders. That deal wipes out 100 billion euros in Greek debt (half of what it owes) and a promise of 30 billion euros to help the public sector pare its debts, making the whole package worth a total of 130 billion euros ($178 billion).