Greek PM Urges Parliament to Support Bailout Agreement

Posted November 4th, 2011 at 5:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Greece's embattled prime minister told parliament Friday that his nation's financial bailout is an opportunity for Greece which must not be wasted.

George Papandreou is addressing the parliament before facing a crucial confidence vote. The session was scheduled for late Friday evening after world financial markets sensitive to the outcome closed for the weekend.

Mr. Papandreou has called for a “broader coalition” ahead of a critical confidence vote that could force his downfall and trigger fresh eurozone turmoil.

The vote comes one day after Mr. Papandreou scrapped a controversial referendum that had angered world leaders trying to formulate the eurozone rescue plan. The Greek leader faces opposition from Democrats as well as some members of his own Socialist Party.

Some members of the Socialist Party are saying they will support Prime Minister Papandreou only if he pledges to resign and begins talks with the opposition on a transition government that will ratify the European Union bailout fund.

The prime minister, who faced enormous international pressure to call off the referendum, said the vote was a political ploy designed to get Greece's opposition parties to support the bailout plan.

On Thursday, Greek opposition leader Antonis Samaras demanded Mr. Papandreou's resignation, saying he had jeopardized Greece's world financial standing by calling for the referendum.

Samaras also called for the creation of a transitional government to prepare for early elections.

While Mr. Papandreou said that holding early elections would be “catastrophic,” he did say he was open to talks with opposition members regarding the formation of a new government that would secure the debt deal.