Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Canada and Russia exchange snarky Tweets

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in an explosive atmosphere

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Google rivals Amazon with delivery drone tests

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Niger : Top Oppostion figure to be questioned in baby trafficking scandal

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Liberia: President dismisses top officials who ignored call back

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: WHO Says Cases Could Exceed 20,000 (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: WHO Says Cases Could Exceed 20,000

Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

  • New Ebola case in Nigeria brings death toll to 1,552

    Read more

  • Video: 'Neither Baghdad nor the US can defeat the Islamic State'

    Read more

  • Platini will not run against Blatter for FIFA presidency

    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

COMMENT(S)