The Greek Finance Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, will step down formally today as the majority of Socialist Party called on him to represent the party in the general elections.

Venizelos will take the lead of the previously ruling Pasok Party, which has been led by the former Prime Minister, George Papandreou.

Venizelos worked hard to secure the second bailout worth 130 billion euro for his country. In addition, the finance chief has been in talks with international lenders over the austerity cuts needed for Greece to return on the right track of recovery, citing his effort in the talks with the private sector over the largest restructuring deal ever.

We have the elections ahead of us and I had the opportunity this morning at a farewell meeting at the finance ministry ... to give my final instructions, Venizelos said after meeting with the Greek President, Karolos Papoulias.