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Greece deal on new coalition

Monday, November 07, 2011 - 01:31

Nov 7 - Greece's politicians agree to form a unity government to approve a euro zone bailout, while some residents remain skeptical. Marie-Claire Fennessy reports.

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A late night deal has been struck. Greek politicians have agreed to form a unity government, to approve the euro zone bailout package, with current prime minister due to step down. George Papandreou and conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras sealed the deal after talks led by the Greek president. A statement issued by the Greek president's office said Papandreou would not lead the new administration. But details remain sketchy, with the two leaders yet to decide who will be the new prime minister to lead Greece through this crisis. The EU earlier on Sunday gave Greece 24 hours to show how it will enact its 130 billion euro emergency funding package. Some Greeks, who have suffered pay and pension cuts were not convinced. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) STAVROS BATKIDIS, 31, SAYING: "They don't have anything to offer the country, the only thing they have to offer is catastrophe." Others felt the unity government was a positive step. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MELINA LEPIDA, 33, SAYING: "Yes, I do feel positive. If they finally did then I do feel positive, because the country has to be represented in a unanimous way." The move is a step towards appeasing the country's European partners, who had piled pressure on Athens to approve the bailout. There were fears that the Greek crisis would spill into bigger euro zone economies such as Italy and Spain, which would be much harder to rescue. Marie-Claire Fennessy, Reuters

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Greece deal on new coalition

Monday, November 07, 2011 - 01:31