Greek party rivals locked in talks over power deal

Rival Greek political parties were locked in talks to hammer out a historic power-sharing deal to secure a rescue package last night.

Socialist prime minister George Papandreou and conservative leader Antonis Samaras held fresh negotiations yesterday, hours after reaching the landmark agreement to form a coalition for the next 15 weeks.

The new administration’s main job will be passing the new bail-out package – agreed by international creditors on 27 October – before holding early elections.

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Mr Papandreou, who is expected to resign, also phoned EU leaders and German chancellor Angela Merkel.

“Europe, and the German government too, must be able to see that the Greeks are serious, that it is not just about announcements but about actions,” a spokesman for Ms Merkel said. French foreign minister lain Juppe added: “Things are headed in the right direction. But what’s important is that the bail-out plan for Greece gets ratified.”

In Athens, former European Central Bank vice president Lucas Papademos and European Ombudsman Nikiforos Diamantouros were being considered as candidates for prime minister of the new coalition government.