Greece will likely hold a snap general election on May 6, a government official said on Tuesday.
No decision has been taken yet but May 6 is a very probable date for the elections, the official, who declined to be named, told Reuters. There was no official confirmation of the election date.
Lucas Papademos' technocrat coalition government was formed in November with a brief mandate to complete talks on a new EU/IMF bailout and then hold parliamentary elections. It includes the conservative New Democracy and the Socialist PASOK party.
New Democracy party, which is leading in opinion polls, said last week, after parliament rubber-stamped the bailout deal, that the election should be held on April 29 or May 6.
Officials from the socialist PASOK party, which is badly trailing New Democracy in the polls, have said for months that Greece should not rush into elections. But PASOK cannot block New Democracy's demand for elections to take place soon.
The European Union and International Monetary Fund have warned Greece that whoever wins the elections must stay the course of economic reforms for Athens to continue receiving the bailout aid it needs to stay afloat.
Opinion polls showed on Saturday that 59.4 percent of Greeks are in favour of a coalition government, while 76 percent want the country to stay in the euro zone.
Several Greek newspapers including conservative daily Kathimerini and centre-left daily Ta Nea also said on Tuesday that May 6 was the most probable date for the election.
(Reporting by Lefteris Papadimas; Writing by Ingrid Melander; Editing by Mark Heinrich)