Greek Referendum on Bailout Deal Now Scrapped as PM lost his bottle?
Greece's Prime Minister has told the London Times News team the referendum on the Euro-zone bailout plan will no longer go ahead - and it was never his intention for it to happen.
"The referendum was never an end in itself," George Papandreou told the cabinet according to statements released by his office.
"We had a dilemma - either true assent or a referendum. I said yesterday, if the assent were there, we would not need a referendum."
Mr Papandreou had been under pressure to stand down, as a split emerged in his government over the plans to hold a public vote on the rescue deal.
He now says he has no intention to quit, but will hold talks with the opposition over their calls for a transitional government and early elections. (How they like to hold on to the power? at want ever the cost, now dealing with his oppositions to say in power seems not long ago British PM David Cameron did the same deal with Nick Clegg and look wear that’s got him, a snake in the grass?)
However trying to hold on to the seat of power, he warned against holding elections in the near future - as this would entail a "big risk of bankruptcy". (And not cost him his job?)
Markets across Europe have been rising since lunchtime, as investors realised the likelihood of a Greek referendum - and subsequent threat of a 'no' vote - was falling.
Earlier, the opposition leader called for the formation of a coalition government and the immediate ratification by parliament of the new bailout deal.
Conservative leader Antonis Samaras made the demand after several of Mr Papandreou's own ministers announced they were against the referendum decision.
A group of around 30 politicians across the ruling party and the opposition also signed a letter calling for snap elections and the scrapping of the referendum, according to the news agency Reuters.
"We consider the formation of a unity government necessary to take over the implementation of national goals and lead the country as soon as possible and securely to elections," the letter reads.
The developments come as G20 leaders begin talks in Cannes, where the future of the Eurozone bailout deal is dominating discussion.
The Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos this morning exposed the split within the Greek cabinet after he declared his opposition to hold a public vote on the bailout deal.
"Greece's position within the euro area is a historic conquest of the country that cannot be put in doubt," he said.
It "cannot depend on a referendum", Mr Venizelos added.
The finance minister said the country's attention should be focused on quickly getting a crucial £7bn instalment of bailout funds, without which it faces bankruptcy with weeks.