Greek PM offers 2015 election once bailout talks complete

Antonis Samaras Greece
Odd Andersen | AFP | Getty Images

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras urged lawmakers on Sunday to elect a new president and offered the prospect of general elections by the end of next year once negotiations with international creditors are complete.

Speaking in an unscheduled television address on Sunday, he said Greece had a duty to finish negotiations with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

"Then, shielded economically and politically, we can find a suitable timeframe for national elections even at the end of 2015," he said.

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The unexpected announcement comes two days ahead of the second round of voting in parliament to elect a new president and follows a disappointing result for the government in the first round last week when it won less support than expected.

If parliament does not elect a president by the third and final round of voting on December 29, a snap general election would have to be held by early February, putting talks on ending Greece's international bailout program at risk.

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