Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Greek PM survives confidence vote

Greek Premier George Papandreou in parliament's vote confidence session on June 21, 2011

Source: Press TV

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has survived a crucial vote of confidence enabling him to gear up for implementing tougher austerity measures in the country.

Papandreou won the vote by 155-143 in the 300-seat chamber, but still faces another critical vote for fresh austerity measures next week, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

The Greek premier is seeking 28 billion euros ($40.24 billion) in budget cuts and new taxes, and 50 billion euros worth of privatization of public assets.

The European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have pressured Greece to pass its austerity package by the end of June, threatening that the troubled state will not receive the next batch of bailout funds, worth 12 billion euros.

Greek officials have urged the IMF and the EU to hand over the package before mid-July, or the country will face default.

Greece received a 110 billion euro EU-IMF bailout loan last year over its massive debt crisis, but did not manage to resolve its financial problems.

Papandreou still needs the support of his socialist party to back a radical program of spending cuts, tax increases, and a mass assets sell-off by the end of next week.

Protesters and unions say privatization and further cuts to save the Greek economy will only affect the working class.

Since last year, Greece has witnessed massive anti-government protests which turned violent at times and left scores of protesters and security forces injured.

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