Greece will have a new pro-bailout coalition government in place by Wednesday, said the leader of the Socialist Pasok party, Evangelos Venizelos.

Following Sunday’s narrow victory by the conservative New Democracy party, Antonis Samaras has scrambled to find common ground with Pasok (which finished a distant third in the poll) and the Democratic Left.

ND chief Samaras has held talks with Venizelos and Fotis Kouvelis of the DL under extreme pressure from European leaders to quickly form a new government that would be committed to maintaining strict austerity measures in the debt-ridden nation.

Athens needs to identify another €11.7 billion in spending cuts by 2014.

Together, ND, Pasok and DL would enjoy a slight majority in the Athens parliament, although they will face the antipathy of all the other political parties which are vehemently opposed to the bailouts from the EU and IMF.