. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Foes Seek Papandreou Resignation

ATHENS -- Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou broke his seven-week silence in the hospital Thursday, saying he wanted to see Greece's president -- a move that could signal he is ready to resign or name an official deputy.

Government spokesman Telemachos Hytiris said the meeting would take place in the next few days when President Costis Stephanopoulos returns from France.

Papandreou, fighting for his life in the hospital since Nov. 20, announced his desire to meet the president just before his ruling socialists defeated a censure motion in parliament.

The socialists defeated the motion 168 to 118 but failed to refute the main conservative charge: that Greece is leaderless. According to opposition sources, New Democracy leader Miltiades Evert sent a letter to Papandreou asking him to resign after the Socialist-dominated parliament Wednesday rejected a censure motion submitted by his party.

It was not known if Papandreou would be given the letter, which describes the jumbled political situation that has emerged in the time he has spent under intensive care.

Asked why Papandreou wanted to meet the president, Hytiris said: "In my personal opinion, the premier wants to exchange views."

Papandreou, 76, has been on life-support systems since entering the hospital, but doctors have said he is showing signs of improvement. He has been under pressure to resign because of his health problems and inability to join in government decisions for the past two months.