Saturday, November 5, 2011

AMNA- A Parliament majority gave a vote of confidence to Prime Minister George Papandreou's government in the early hours of Saturday, following a three-day debate.

The government received 153 votes in favour, while 145 voted against -- out of 298 deputies participating in the roll call vote in the 300-member legislature.

On his part, main opposition New Democracy (ND) party leader Antonis Samaras reiterated just after midnight that the "only solution" in the country today is early general elections.

Commenting on Papandreou's speech during a debate on a vote of confidence for his government, Samaras said: "The masks have fallen. George Papandreou has rejected our proposal in its entirety. His responsibilities are tremendous; elections are the only solution."

Conversely, Papandreou said the vote of confidence for the government is a mandate for a national cooperation government. (AMNA text)

He announced that he would meet on Saturday with President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias to initiate consultations with all political parties for the formation of a new government, as he said, with a broad support, and one that will not exclude even a change in the head of government.

"There is only one solution, which is to provide bipartisan support for the good of the country ... I am tonight asking for a vote of confidence in order to secure the country's smooth course, without a power vacuum or by being dragged to elections," Papandreou added.

In clarifying statements, FinMin Evangelos Venizelos said such a government would last until late February, in order to see through lending agreements and debt reduction agreed to with the EC-ECB-IMF "troika" and Eurozone partners.

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