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Greek coalition govt wins confidence vote

PTI Athens | Updated on November 16, 2017 Published on July 09, 2012

Greece’s coalition government breezed through a largely symbolic confidence vote, winning the difficult mandate of tackling a two-year-old crisis and keeping the country safely in the Euro Zone.

After three days of tense parliamentary debate, 179 lawmakers out of the chamber’s 300 voted in favour of a centrist coalition led by conservative Prime Minster, Mr Antonis Samaras.

The coalition has promised to ease austerity measures while still meeting the demands of EU-IMF creditors.

Yesterday’s outcome of the vote was never really in doubt and aligned exactly with the 179 seats held by the Samaras-led coalition that unites his conservative New Democracy party with the socialist PASOK and the much smaller Democratic Left.

“You have followed the decisions of a three-party government that wants to proceed with reforms and change the country needs,” Mr Samaras told deputies minutes before the vote.

“We must stay in the euro according to the verdict of the Greek people,” he said.

With Parliament protocol now over, the Samaras Cabinet must immediately tackle the task of turning crisis-wracked Greece around while keeping the trust of EU-IMF creditors who hold the power to keep the country’s finances afloat.

The Government said its first goal, along with carrying through a raft of reforms and privatisations, will be to secure an extension to the tight budget deadlines set out in Greece’s second €130-billion bailout plan.

But Greece’s new finance minister warned lawmakers yesterday that winning any kind of reprieve from lenders will not be easy as EU and IMF officials have shown stiff resistance to any talk of renegotiation, especially one that comes with a price tag.

The Finance Minister, Mr Yannis Stournaras, said: “We will propose an extension of the deadline beyond 2014, but the difficulty is that it requires additional financing and therefore a consensus” in Europe.

Published on July 09, 2012
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