Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Homegrown Jihadists: France Sets Out Plan to Monitor Web and Support Families (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Homegrown Jihadists: France Sets Out Plan to Monitor Web and Support Families

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukrainians turn Russian 'evidence' into meme

Read more

FOCUS

Copenhagen seeks to decriminalise use of cannabis

Read more

FACE-OFF

French president's advisor resigns: A new blow for François Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Films as plays, plays as films and TV at the cinema

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Syria: Former hostages recount 10-month ordeal

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

José Bové, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, Group of the Greens

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Alexis Tsipras, Candidate for the EU Commission presidency, European Left Party

Read more

  • Fatah, Hamas agree to form Palestinian unity government

    Read more

  • Britain's ex-PM Blair warns against spread of radical Islam

    Read more

  • Madrid beat Bayern 1-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • New far-right mayor moves to quash Paris region mosque

    Read more

  • Turkish PM offers condolences to descendants of Armenians killed in 1915

    Read more

  • Gay marriage, one year on: ‘French civilisation did not crumble’

    Read more

  • Colombian president reinstates firebrand Bogota mayor

    Read more

  • NYPD public relations campaign on Twitter goes awry

    Read more

  • Russia vows to respond if 'attacked' in Ukraine

    Read more

  • In pictures: Violent protests erupt in Rio

    Read more

  • French hostage Gilberto Rodrigues Leal has died, Islamists say

    Read more

  • 'Pope-mania' hits John Paul II's Polish hometown

    Read more

  • French actress Catherine Deneuve to sell €4 million château

    Read more

  • Chelsea, Atletico draw 0-0 in first leg of Champions League semis

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch offensive in the east after politican 'tortured'

    Read more

  • Echoes of 2pac and Biggie? French rap feud turns violent

    Read more

  • New French film tackles grisly anti-Semitic murder

    Read more

Europe

New Greek government faces vote of confidence

©

Video by Nathalie SAVARICAS

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-11-16

Greece’s new national unity government is set to sail through a vote of confidence Wednesday, as Prime Minister Lucas Papademos (pictured) races to rebuild the country's shattered public finances.

REUTERS - Greece's new government should comfortably survive a vote of confidence on Wednesday but Prime Minister Lucas Papademos faces a daunting task repairing the shattered public finances, and cracks are already appearing in his crisis coalition.

Polls show Papademos, a former vice president of the European Central Bank, has the backing of three in four Greeks but the need to implement painful tax rises and spending cuts to secure fresh loans and stave off bankruptcy will sorely test that support.

At stake are an 8 billion euro loan tranche Greece needs to meet debt repayments due next month and a new bailout worth 130 billion euros. Greece needs some 80 billion euros of that second rescue package in early 2012.

Papademos's national unity government brings together bitter rivals, the conservative New Democracy of Antonis Samaras, the Socialists of fallen prime minister George Papandreou and the far-right LAOS party.

"The government is asking for a vote of confidence. This should not be taken for granted because of its big majority. It is a symbolic, political action," Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said in Tuesday's confidence debate.

"We will help ourselves and the euro zone if we do what we have to do now, quickly, responsibly, so that Greece can always be a member of the euro zone and for the euro zone to exist, to permanently overcome the risk of a default," he said.

The vote is scheduled for 1300 GMT but may be delayed.

On the eve of the confidence motion, New Democracy lawmakers defied the European Commission's request for a written pledge from the three parties on meeting the terms of Greece's bailout, saying they would not bow to Brussels.

New Democracy MP Nikos Dendias said orders "from Brussels cannot be a legitimate policy".

Such a stance will test anew the patience and confidence of Greece's European partners, who have already begun to speculate publicly on whether the country of 11 million people has a future within the euro zone.

Further highlighting the lack of unity in a government that must prepare for an election in the first quarter of 2012, 101 Socialist deputies signed a petition on Tuesday opposing their party's cooperation with New Democracy and LAOS.

Painful austerity

Athens will begin thrashing out a deal with private bondholders on Thursday to slash its public debt, sources said, tackling a key pillar of the 130 billion euro bailout plan agreed with euro zone leaders last month.

The plan envisages slashing Greece's 330 billion euro debt load by a third and imposing a 50 percent loss on private bondholders, but it has been poorly received among Greeks who fear further waves of painful austerity.

Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to join an annual rally on Thursday to mark the Nov. 17 student uprising in 1973 that helped topple the 1967-74 military junta.

The ranks of students and workers are likely to be swelled by middle-class Greeks who have diligently paid their taxes and blame the nearly two-year-old economic crisis on a corrupt and quarrelsome political elite and rich tax evaders.

"We expect massive participation as rage and anger have been dwelling in people for so long ... It is very possible that some groups will misbehave," said Mary Bossis, international security professor at the University of Piraeus.

Date created : 2011-11-16

  • GREECE

    Greece must implement EU agreements, says new PM

    Read more

  • EUROPE

    Eurozone crisis 'toughest hour since World War II’, says Merkel

    Read more

  • GREECE

    Greek conservatives vow to reject any new austerity measures

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)