Greek leaders announce PM’s resignation, early polls

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Greek leaders, who met late on Sunday for talks on the future coalition government, announced in a statement on Monday that George Papandreou would resign as Greek premier and "immediate" elections will be held.

Greek leaders, who met late on Sunday for talks on the future coalition government, announced in a statement on Monday that George Papandreou would resign as Greek premier and "immediate" elections will be held.

President Karolos Papoulias hosted the meeting between Papandreou and opposition leader Antonis Samaras, which ended shortly before midnight Moscow time.

"It was resolved to set up a new government with a purpose of taking country to immediate elections as soon as the October decisions are brought into life,” the statement reads.

The interim coalition government's main target would be preparing the early elections.

The communist party of Greece, the country’s third most influential political force and austerity package opponents, said its members will stay away from talks on the coalition government and from its future activities.

The prime minister earlier said he would resign on the condition of forming a coalition government. Leaders of the country’s two major parties will meet on Monday to discuss the coalition government’s make-up.

Greek state TV said Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos, who is also the country's finance minister and chief negotiator with the troika of international lenders, will retain his post.

On October 26 EU leaders agreed to write off a part of the Greek debt in exchange for a long-term austerity program. The EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suspended financial aid to the country, citing political uncertainty, and Greece said it may default in several weeks.

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