Greece to call May 6 snap election Wednesday: sources

ATHENS Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:56am EDT

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ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos will meet President Karolos Papoulias at 1400 GMT on Wednesday to ask for a snap election to be called on May 6, government officials said on Tuesday.

The election will be the first since the debt crisis exploded at the end of 2009, dragging the country into its worst economic recession since World War Two, pushing unemployment to record highs and shaking the euro.

"They will meet to set the election date," a minister said on condition of anonymity. "We are expecting parliament to be dissolved."

Another government official confirmed the meeting would decide the snap election and said: "The date of the election will be May 6."

The conservative New Democracy and the Socialist PASOK, which back the interim government of technocrat Papademos, have suffered in opinion polls for supporting the bailout plan and may not gather enough votes to rule.

Polls show small parties opposing the steep wage and pension cuts imposed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in return for aid are gaining ground. That may stop the main parties from even forming a coalition government together.

Officials have been saying for days that voters would go to the polls on the first Sunday of May, after Papademos' emergency government completed its mandate by clinching a new EU/IMF rescue deal and a landmark debt restructuring.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Lefteris Papadimas; Editing by Alison Williams)

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