Greek prime minister survives confidence vote
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou survived a confidence vote on Saturday after promising to seek an interim government to secure a new European debt deal to avert the country's bankruptcy, dpa reported.
Members of his Socialist PASOK party voted 153 in favor of the prime minister in the 300-member parliament after threatening to overthrow him hours earlier following his controversial bid to hold a referendum on the new debt deal.
The prime minister was forced to scrap the idea of holding a referendum on Thursday after causing havoc in global markets and shocking and angering European leaders already struggling to contain crises in Portugal and Ireland.
Papandreou had promised that he will enter into negotiations with the opposition to form an emergency administration if he wins the confidence vote. He will meet with Greek President Karolos Papoulias later on Saturday to begin discussing the issue.
Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said the new administration will be in place until the end of February, with elections to be held in March.
Main opposition New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras did not say whether his party would enter coalition talks with the ruling government. Earlier he renewed his call for snap elections.
The international bailout deal agreed to in Brussels last week would give the country 130 billion euros (180 billion dollars) and impose a 50-per-cent write-off on private holders of Greek debts, in return for years of deeply unpopular austerity measures.