greek pm george papandreou speaks to parliament ahead of confidence vote

Photo: France 24

PM George Papandreou just won a vote of confidence in the Greek parliament.The highly anticipated vote was crucial to the immediate implementation of bailout measures EU leaders agreed to last week.

Papandreou’s PASOK party will now seek to form a national unity coalition with other parties in parliament. The prime minister has said he is prepared to step down.

That would likely turn power over to Evangelos Venizelos, the current finance minister and Papandreou’s rival.

The new government must quickly pass the new reforms that were a contingency for the next bailout so that it can receive the next tranche of aid by mid-December. If it does not, it will almost assuredly default.

This decision should calm markets after a turbulent week. Papandreou kicked off the uncertainty when he unexpectedly proposed a referendum on the bailout reforms, but that referendum will no longer take place.

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