Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Saturday told the country's president a political consensus was crucial to avoiding elections and protecting Greece's membership of the euro zone.

My aim is to immediately create a government of cooperation, Papandreou told the president in the presence of reporters before the two leaders held talks behind closed doors.

A lack of consensus would worry our European partners about our country's membership of the euro zone.

(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas)