Critical confidence vote due midnight

A critical vote of confidence in embattled Greek prime minister George Papandreou’s PASOK government takes place in parliament at midnight Friday, after a sizzling three-day debate with growing disgruntlement within the ruling party and in the aftermath of a political crisis on Thursday sparked by the premier’s announcement earlier in the week that he intended to put a second EU-IMF bailout loan agreement ironed out at a marathon eurozone summit on October 26-27 to a referendum to the Greek people, which eased only after the government backed off the decision for the referendum.amna

With calls from PASOK MPs and the entire opposition growing for the formation of either a “national unity” or “national salvation” government with the other parties or for a transitional government whose sole purpose will be to ratify the new loan agreement and then head to elections, coupled by Papandreou’s dwindling parliamentary majority, which has gone from a comfortable 160 seats in the 300-member House following the 2009 general elections to just 152 today, the outcome of the vote of confidence was up in the air. (AMNA)

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