Greece: Government gets austerity mandate

22nd June 2011

The Financial Times reports that Greece's embattled government has now cleared all obstacles to a fresh €120bn bail-out by international lenders.

The confidence motion in George Papandreou's reshuffled team passed by 155 votes to 143.

"If we are afraid, if we throw away this opportunity, then history will judge us very harshly," Mr Papandreou said in a final appeal for support before the vote.

The Guardian reports that tens of thousands of Greeks protested outside parliament while the vote was taking place.

Prime minister George Papandreou gave what the Guardian called "a bravura speech" in which he called on Greeks to "fight together" in overcoming their worst crisis in modern times.

Greece can now press ahead with austerity measures and avoid a defaulting on euro 355bn (£297bn) debt.

But the confidence vote is just the beginning Papandreou now has to persuading the Greek parliament to endorse further austerity measures – on top of a wave of wage cuts, pension cuts, tax increases and benefit losses that have already prompted thousands to take to the streets in – often violent – protest.

More about the Greek debt crisis on Mindful Money

More on the Greek debt crisis here:

Opinion: Shaun Richards give the latest take on events on his Mindful Money blog.

News: Greece: Markets bet on debt default

News: Greece prepares new cabinet

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