In a day that was bizarre and chaotic even by Greek political standards, Papandreou wished his successor well and headed off to meet the president -- only for it to emerge that there was no successor due to feuding in the political parties.So who is the Greek Prime Minister? Do we even care? It appears that talks will start again tomorrow.
Earlier, party sources said senior members of the socialist and conservative camps had settled on the speaker of parliament, veteran socialist Filippos Petsalnikos, barring last-minute snags.
But snags did indeed emerge, with large sections of Papandreou's PASOK party and the conservative New Democracy refusing to back Petsalnikos after a three-day hunt for someone to lead the coalition until early elections in February.
Meanwhile, we are assured that the eurozone has not plans to rescue Italy, which was never on the cards anyway. Whether Italy is too big to fail or not is a moot point but it is certainly too big to rescue.
French and German officials are discussing a smaller eurozone. It is not immediately clear whom they will shed but they might start with France. Of course, a smaller eurozone is as good as no eurozone, given that this was a political project from the very beginning, aimed at a fiscal and economic unification of however many countries there might be in the EU at any given time. That project has, to all intents and purposes, been abandoned.
The Italians hope to avoid the Greek political mess and a possible successor to Silvio Berlusconi when he finally goes has been mooted. Then again, it looked like the Papandreou succession was all stitched up as well, yet here we are.