Government sources on Wednesday confirmed rumours leaked earlier within main opposition New Democracy, namely that Prime Minister George Papandreou was prepared to step down if this would allow a cooperation or all-party government to be formed.
They said the prime minister had indicated in talks with the political party leaders on Wednesday that he was open to all proposals for getting the country of the crisis, especially with main opposition ND leader Antonis Samaras.
In a 20-minute telephone call with Samaras, Papandreou apparently clarified that he would only be prepared to consider such an all-party government, even if he were not its leader, in the event that all the political parties were able to agree on a set of specific political goals, on time commitments for the negotiations and the changes that the country needs to make.
During talks with Samaras, Papandreou indicated that the country was going through critical moments with decisions of historic importance had to be made, requiring proposals of historic responsibility for the present and future of the country.
The prime minister also made it clear that if such an agreement was not possible, he was determined to stay and finish the job, as the elected prime minister of the country.
Speaking with his aides in the ruling party, Papandreou relayed that he had "made his choices, taken his decisions" and was prepared to proceed either one way or another in the effort to take the country into a new era, during which Greeks would never have to go through the same things as today ever again.
The same sources claimed that during his conversation with Papandreou, ND's president had been evasive, undecided and had avoided a substantive discussion.
ND denies reports of Samaras meeting with Papandreou representative
Main opposition New Democracy categorically denied on Wednesday rumors appearing on several blogs and websites of a meeting on Tuesday between ND leader Antonis Samaras and a representative of prime minister George Papandreou.
In an announcement, ND press officer Yiannis Michelakis called the rumors "absurd" and unworthy of denial.
ND further denied any telephone contact whatsoever between Samaras and Papandreou.