Calamos Supports Greece
GreekReporter.comGreek NewsEconomyPapademos Gets Confidence Vote from His Parliament

Papademos Gets Confidence Vote from His Parliament

Greece's temporary leader Lucas Papademos says the country must stay in the Eurozone or collapse

ATHENS – Interim Prime Minster Lucas Papademos, as expected, easily won a vote of confidence from the Parliament his fractious coalition government controls for the next few months. Papademos, who oversees a shaky deal between the PASOK Socialists and their Conservative rivals in New Democracy, won the vote by 255-38, with seven absent.
It came after three days of predictable debate in which the coalition supporters sided with each other against those who feel the temporary government is on the side of international lenders giving Greece bailout loans to stay afloat, but only on the condition of deep pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and scores of thousands of layoffs.
Three MPs from the three-party coalition, which consists of the Socialists in PASOK, New Democracy and nationalist Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS)voted against the new administration. They were New Democracy’s Panos Kammenos as well as Christos Katsouros and Cetin Mandaci from PASOK. Mandaci said he opposed the involvement of the far Right-Wing party LAOS in the coalition while the conservative dissident Kammenos, objected to Papademos, describing him as “a man of the Troika,” Greece’s three foreign creditors – the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Katsouros said he was concerned about the political mix in the new government, referring to a “strange coalition.” Speaking ahead of the vote, which was conducted by roll call after three days of lively debate, Papademos told Parliament that the support of every MP was crucial. “Each vote corresponds to a vote of responsibility to ensure that the effort to rescue the economy continues,” he sad.
He said that the debt crisis was not just a matter of concern to Greece alone but “had touched the hard core of Europe,” an apparent reference to Italy and Spain, whose economies are also wracked with problems. He said that he was confident that the European debt crisis would be overcome as that leaders in EU countries would take the necessary measures to protect economies and banks, noting that “we have a common interest.”
Despite his bravado, skepticism remained, especially after the meeting he had with Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos and the head of the Institute of International Finance (IIF) Charles Dallara, representing banks that the government has asked to write down 50 percent of what they are owed. Greece is surviving on a series of $152 billion in rescue loans and is awaiting another $157 billion, which are attached to the so-called haircut of discounts on the loans Greece said is critical to keep from going bankrupt.
After the talks, it was reported that no deal has yet been struck. That came just before Greek bondholders were to begin discussions in Frankfurt on the details of the agreement reached with leaders of the Eurozone, the 17 countries that use the euro as a currency. Greece’s economic woes threaten to bring down the Eurogroup if the country ultimately defaults. “Problems will worsen and dealing with them will be harder if Greece does not participate in the Euro zone,” Papademos said in a speech to lawmakers before the vote carried live on state-run Vouli TV. An exit from the euro would lead to accelerating inflation, a devaluation of Greek assets and problems servicing debt, he said.
His coalition has only three months to meet demands from investors to keep a lifeline of loans coming, as well as a delayed $11 billion installment needed to keep paying workers and pensioners. The newspaper Kathimerini reported that Greek officials were not satisfied with the proposals brought to Athens by Dallara, saying it was not enough to reduce Greece’s deficit to 120 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2020. Kathimerini said the proposal was for a 50 percent reduction in loan payments and swapping the other half for bonds that would mature after 22 years. Greece offered a 37 percent haircut for Greek-held bonds with the remaining 63 percent to be repaid in 15 years.

See all the latest news from Greece and the world at Contact our newsroom to report an update or send your story, photos and videos. Follow GR on Google News and subscribe here to our daily email!

Related Posts