Mr Constantine Georgakopoulos, president of the Greek Red Cross Society, was asked by King Paul of Greece tonight to form a caretaker Cabinet.
Mr Constantine Georgakopoulos, president of the Greek Red Cross Society, was asked by King Paul of Greece tonight to form a caretaker Cabinet. At the end of fifteen days, after the proposed new electoral law has been passed, Mr Georgakopoulos should dissolve the Chamber and proclaim a general election.
This was the outcome of day-long consultations between the King and Greek political leaders, among whom were George Papandrelu and Sophocles Venizelos, co-leaders of the Liberal Party, and Mr Eliou, the representative of the Union of Democratic Left (Communist). Another visitor to the Palace was Mr Papapolitis, leader of the National Progressive Union of Centre Party.
So long-drawn out were the consultations that the Palace guard of Evzones was changed twice before agreement was reached with the King.
The crisis was provoked by the resignation on March 2nd. of the Karamanlis Cabinet.
The political parties are now at loggerheads over which electoral system should be used at the next general elections. The smaller political parties insist on the reintroduction of pure proportional representation, which would give them a chance of being returned to Parliament.
The major parties, that is Mr Karamanlis's Radicals and the Liberals, support "reinforced" proportional representation, which favours those two parties by awarding them a premium of seats if they pass over one-quarter of the total national vote.
It was the tabling of a Government Bill on the latter system which caused the defection of fifteen Government deputies and thereby the fall of the Cabinet.
In informed circles in Athens it is felt that a change of Government could have repercussions on the Cyprus affair. Mr Karamanlis's Government has always stood for an "Honourable compromise" in the Cyprus issue; others may not.