Sources inside Greece’s election winning New Democracy party say they expect third-placed PASOK to agree to form a coalition government later today.
After Sunday’s vote the conservatives led by Antonis Samaras need the socialists to help carry out Greece’s bailout commitments which are aimed at keeping the country from bankruptcy.
PASOK’s leader Evangelos Venizelos appears prepared to play his part, he told party members: “Even for those who will choose to play the role of the anti-government party, there is a national duty of responsibility and coalition, in order for the country to achieve the best possible result both domestically, and most importantly as far as its negotiations, abroad.”
But Alexis Tsipras and his radical left-wing bloc SYRIZA have already officially refused to join any unity government. By coming second they aim to form a significant opposition force, remaining opposed to the conditions attached to the 130 billion euro rescue package.
However analysts say nothing is laid in stone – Samaras is hoping for some wriggle room on the bailout, by getting creditors to spread further austerity cuts over four years instead of two.
A promise to re-negotiate aspects of the EU-IMF backed loan could pull in moderate left-wingers.