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Greek Finance Minister Venizelos Resigns

3/19/2012 9:28 AM ET

Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, who was unanimously elected leader of the ruling Socialist Pasok party, has said that he is quitting the Cabinet.

He told reporters his intention to resign after meeting President Karolos Papoulias on Monday. He is expected to meet Prime Minister Lucas Papademos later in the day, reports said.

Venizelos, 55, quits the hot seat after playing a key role in recent months in negotiating a second bailout with the EU and the IMF and implementing new austerity measures.

Deputy Finance Minister Filippos Sachinidis and the Prime Minister's chief economic adviser Gikas Hardouvelis are being touted as Venizelos' successors.

Venizelos assumed the leadership of his socialist Pasok party after he was elected unopposed in the party's leadership election on Sunday.

He replaces George Papandreou, who was forced to step down as Prime Minister in November.

Venizelos was expected to step down as Finance Minister to focus on the party's campaign for the forthcoming general elections, which are expected in late April or early May.

by RTT Staff Writer

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