EU's Moscovici in Greece ahead of key vote threatening pro-bailout government

Economic IndicatorsAssociated Press

The European Union's top finance official is visiting Athens ahead of a parliamentary vote that could topple Greece's pro-bailout government this month.

EU Finance Commissioner Pierre Moscovici met conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras Monday at the start of a two-day visit that went ahead despite delayed negotiations between Greece and bailout creditors.

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Greek lawmakers will start voting Wednesday for a new Greek president, in a ballot likely to last three rounds through Dec. 29. Samaras could be forced to call an early general election if he fails to attract enough support from the opposition for a government-backed candidate.

The political uncertainty has rattled Greek markets as investors fret over the country's place in the 18-country eurozone.

A spokeswoman for the EU Commission said Greek membership remained "the only viable solution."