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Greek PM seeks consensus on economy in meetings with opposition party leaders
Date: 2011/3/15 Click: 1870
Prime Minister George Papandreou said Tuesday he will seek national consensus on dealing with the Greek debt crisis in a series of meetings with opposition parties and through a "comprehensive package solution" in the European Union.

"We need responsibility from all political forces. We are determined to support in Brussels that the only solution on the current crisis in Greece and Europe is a comprehensive package solution. Otherwise, there is no solution. On this basis I will fight," Papandreou said during talks with main opposition New Democracy (ND) Party leader Antonis Samaras.

Stressing that his government respects different views, the prime minister asked that parties on the right and left support his stance ahead of a crucial extraordinary summit of eurozone-member states Friday in Brussels and the March 24-25 EU summit.

Samaras on his part, noted that the ND always stood for national consensus in difficult times. He repeated his party's stance that Greece should change policies and re-negotiate terms of the memorandum signed last May with the EU and International Monetary Fund in order to secure a multi-billion euro rescue package to avoid default.

Local analysts expect similar responses in separate meetings later Tuesday from the leaders of other parties represented in parliament, such as the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS).

Papandreou was also scheduled to hold talks with non-parliamentary Democratic Alliance and Democratic Left parties' leaders later Tuesday, before flying to Paris to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday ahead of the EU summits.

Experts in Athens said that during talks with Sarkozy, Papandreou likely would try to secure support to convince German Chancellor Angela Merkel to accept an extension of the repayment period of the EU-IMF aid by Greece and lower interest rates.

During a cabinet meeting Monday, Papandreou stated his intention to seek a "comprehensive package solution" for the crisis in Brussels, leaving open the prospect of using veto power to block any other solution, clashing with Germany.
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