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Greek premier to start talks on caretaker govt
Greek prime minister to start immediate powersharing talks to form caretaker government
By The Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece (AP) ' Greece's embattled prime minister promised to start immediate powersharing talks to form a caretaker government, declaring his willingness to step aside if needed, but ruled out snap elections that he said would scuttle a major new European debt deal.

George Papandreou made the pledge late Friday, moments before lawmakers were to cast ballots in a confidence vote in his troubled two-year Socialist government. The vote comes days after Papandreou's ultimately scrapped plan to put the debt deal to a referendum sparked an open rebellion in the governing party, with deputies openly calling for him to step down.

The plan to put the deal to a popular vote had led to anger among European leaders and roiled global markets. Papandreou withdrew the plan Thursday.



THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) ' Greece's embattled prime minister says snap elections in his country would be a catastrophe that would endanger a new European debt deal for Greece and the disbursement of vital bailout loans.

George Papandreou said late Friday that elections would be held immediately after the financial situation is "normalized." He was speaking in parliament late Friday before a crucial vote of confidence in his government, fighting to face down an open revolt from his governing Socialists sparked by an ultimately scrapped plan to put the deal to a referendum.

He said the vote would be a mandate to create a caretaker government to ensure the debt deal.


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