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Greek parties agree speaker as new PM, barring snags

world Updated: Nov 10, 2011 01:20 IST
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Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said he was stepping down on Wednesday without saying who would succeed him as the nation heads towards an economic precipice, but party sources said political leaders had agreed it would be the speaker of parliament.

Parties from left and right settled on veteran socialist Filippos Petsalnikos, barring-last minute snags, the sources said, turning to their own political class.

"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 PASOK and the conservative opposition New Democracy told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Greeks and the nation's international lenders have watched in growing horror for three days as party leaders feuded over a shrinking list of credible candidates to lead a national unity coalition after Papandreou's government imploded.

In a television address, Papandreou wished the new prime minister well without giving any name and declared that Greece had avoided bankruptcy.

He also said the new government would win approval for Greece's 130 billion euro bailout deal and secure the nation’s membership of the euro zone despite its crisis.