Greek PM invites opposition to debt deal talks

By Nicholas Paphitis

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Nov. 3 2011 10:55 a.m. MDT

A man sits at the stairs of Zappeion hall in Athens on Thursday, Nov. 3 2011. Demands mounted Thursday for Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to resign and let a coalition government approve a European bailout plan instead of holding a risky referendum on it.

Kostas Tsironis, Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece — Greece's embattled prime minister says he has invited opposition conservatives to join talks on a major European debt deal.

Prime Minister George Papandreou ignored calls Thursday to resign and hold an early general election.

Papandreou scrapped plans to hold a referendum on the Oct. 27 bailout agreement, but rejected calls from the opposition and within his own party to call an election midway through his four-year-term.

Papandreou insists he never would have put the question of whether Greece stays in the joint euro currency to a popular vote, as the leaders of France and Germany had suggested.

He faces a vote of confidence in parliament Friday.

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