Leader of the New Democracy conservative party, Antonis Samaras (L) meets with Democratic Left party leader, Fotis Kouvelis at the Greek parliament, in Athens
Greece on Wednesday was close to forming a coalition to revise an unpopular EU-IMF bailout deal and pull the country out of a harrowing recession that has doomed its economic recovery efforts.
After two months of inertia and two elections within six weeks, the struggling eurozone member badly needs to get back on track with reforms promised for an international bailout that has kept it alive these past two years, reports AFP.
Greece also needs representation at a European summit on June 28, and must resume contact with international auditors to restore the flow of loans that was suspended ahead of the election.
New Democracy leader, Antonis Samaras, the winner of Sunday's elections, has been holding talks with the socialist Pasok and the small Democratic Left party under intense pressure from financial markets and world powers to act swiftly.
Pasok leader, Evangelos Venizelos said following talks on Tuesday that a coalition agreement was possible "by midday tomorrow" -- just hours before a deadline for conservative New Democracy to form a coalition runs out.
Democratic Left leader, Fotis Kouvelis then said his party would give the government a vote of confidence without actually joining the cabinet.
Samaras, 61, a US-educated former foreign minister, is to be prime minister, Greek media reported, saying there had been a deal between the parties.
Venizelos' Pasok party meets on Wednesday to decide whether to contribute lawmakers or socialist-affiliated technocrats to the government.
And officials from the three parties were to meet again at 1000 GMT to hammer out a common policy statement after a first discussion on Tuesday that went on for nearly six hours.
Samaras' mandate to form a government expires on Wednesday.
The key issue was "not the composition of the government but the national negotiation team that will aim for the best possible renegotiation of the loan agreement" to fight recession and unemployment, Venizelos said.
But the consent of the country's creditors is far from guaranteed.
IMF chief, Christine Lagarde starkly noted over the weekend that the global lender was not entirely sure what Greece has been doing with its recovery programme over the last two months.
"We do not really know what has been implemented, what has been respected or not in the last six or eight weeks," she told France's Liberation daily.
European Union leaders and the International Monetary Fund say an extension of a key deficit deadline is possible but the content cannot be changed and have suspended the multi-billion euro loans until the political situation is clear.