The stage is set to form a three-party coalition government in Greece led by the conservative New Democracy party, with the smaller socialist PASOK, Democratic Left parties agreeing on Wednesday to join it, reports said.
"Greece has a government," PASOK party leader Evangelos Venizelos said after the third day of government formation talks with Antonis Samaras, leader of the New Democracy party, which emerged the biggest party in Sunday's parliamentary elections.
"We decided by a large majority to give a vote of confidence, not a vote of tolerance, in the new government," Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis told reporters after talks with the New Democracy leader.
Sending a message of political stability that has long been evading the debt-ridden country, he vowed that "we will not withdraw our support or bring down the government."
Venizelos said details of the structure and program of the new government were expected to be finalized by Wednesday night, before the New Democracy's mandate to form a government expires.
Outgoing Finance Minister Giorgos Zanias would represent Greece at the Eurozone Finance Ministers' meeting, scheduled for later this week, he added.
The news stimulated the Greek stock market.
The coalition partners that back Greece's commitments to the bailout deal are expected to urge the international lenders some concessions in its tough terms.
The day after the electoral victory, Samaras made it clear that his party wanted Greece to remain in the Eurozone and that the new government would honor its obligations to its lenders, but indicated that "some necessary amendments" would be made to the stringent bailout agreement "in order to relieve the people of crippling unemployment and huge hardships."
The conservative pro-bailout New Democracy party made a remarkable comeback in Sunday's parliamentary polls winning 29.7 percent of the votes, as against 18.9 percent it got in the election held six weeks ago.
Being the largest party makes it eligible for 50 extra seats, which will raise its total strength in the House to 129 seats.
The radical leftist Syriza, which opposes the austerity measures for securing a bailout, also improved its position with 26.9 percent votes (71 seats) to finish second.
The PASOK party, which had partnered New Democracy in the coalition government since last November, came third with 12.6 percent, or 33 seats.
A New Democracy-PASOK alliance would command 162 seats, enough to secure majority in the 300-member Parliament, but Samaras called for a broader four-party coalition, also including Syriza and the Democratic Left Party, which came sixth winning 17 seats.
Syriza leader Alexis Tspiras rejected the idea, and made it clear that his party prefers to sit in the Opposition, and vowed to continue its campaign against the bailout deal.
A three-party conservative-socialist-leftist coalition means it will enjoy a strong parliamentary majority of 179 seats, that will prove crucial in the future of the country.
A new government must come to power in Greece if the debt-ridden country is to get the next installment of bailout fund from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
The speedy formation of a government in Greece is expected to ease the country's financial crisis, and strengthen its shaky position in the Eurozone, which had been threatening the stability of the single currency.
by RTT Staff Writer
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