The Greek snap general elections to be held on May 6 will determine the country's future in the coming decades, Prime Minister Lucas Papademos stressed on Wednesday evening.
Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos (2nd L front) chairs the final cabinet meeting in Athens, Greece, April 11, 2012. The Greek early general elections will be held on May 6, 2012, Papademos confirmed on Wednesday. [Yannis Panagopoulos/Xinhua]
Papademos announced the dissolution of the parliament and formally call of the polls with a presidential decree issued earlier in the evening, during a televised address to the nation broadcast by the Greek state television NET.
He also noted that the next assembly will convene on May 17.
"The current administration completed the most part of its tasks. A new government will be tasked to continue efforts for the reconstruction of the economy...In less than a month Greek people will be asked to choose the way forward," he said.
"The sacrifices of the past two years will not be in vain if we opt for the way that ensures our country's future within the EU and the euro, the way to fiscal consolidation and structural reforms that will lead to a modern, competitive economy," added Papademos.
Earlier on Wednesday, the technocrat premier had officially submitted to President Karolos Papoulias the mandate of his transitional coalition government which took office last November.
The administration, supported by the socialist PASOK party and the conservatives of New Democracy, finalised a second bailout deal with international creditors and a voluntary Greek debt restructuring to avoid a chaotic default this spring.
Papademos and most of the ministers of the interim government will stay on to supervise the electoral process.
Local analysts regard the result of the May 6 elections as uncertain, given the recent polls which show that PASOK and New Democracy will marginally secure parliamentary majority to form a new pro-reform coalition.
Disappointment and anger run deep among Greek people over the harsh austerity measures introduced to secure vital multi-billion euro loans from European counterparts and International Monetary Fund.