Petsalnikos to head new Greek govt

“We have agreed on Petsalnikos but things can change between now and when the prime minister sees the president,” a source close to the discussions between the ruling Socialists and the conservative opposition New Democracy said on condition of anonymity.
Outgoing Prime Minister George Papandreou and opposition leader Antonis Samaras had been locked in talks since Sunday on who will lead a new government to take the country to elections in February.

Early in the day, political leaders were scrambling unsuccessfully to find a new prime minister to lead Greece back from the brink of bankruptcy, after a plan to name a former central banker ran into trouble.

The haggling of the past few days suggested nothing was certain, despite growing impatience from the European Union and fears among ordinary Greeks that the deadlock could push their country toward an exit from the euro zone.

In the past two days, government sources have made a number of optimistic predictions about forming the government, which must secure a 130 billion euro ($180 billion) bailout before Greece runs out of cash, only for no deal to materialise.

Former ECB vice-president Lucas Papademos was also tipped as the leading candidate to lead the government of national unity.

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