ATHENS Nov 5 Greek Prime Minister George
Papandreou survived a parliamentary confidence vote on Saturday,
avoiding snap elections which would have torpedoed Greece's
bailout deal and inflamed the euro zone's economic crisis.
But the nation remained in political, social and economic
turmoil and Papandreou signalled he would still stand down,
calling for a new coalition to ram the 130 billion euro bailout
deal through parliament and avoid the nation going bankrupt.
Papandreou's socialist government won with 153 votes in the
300 member parliament, and a rebellion by some dissidents in his
PASOK party failed to materialise after he indicated that his
term as prime minister was close to an end.
"The last thing I care about is my post. I don't care even
if I am not reelected. The time has come to make a new effort...
I never thought of politics as a profession," he said before the
Earlier Papandreou called for a new coalition government to
approve the euro zone bailout deal, the nation's last financial
lifeline, which is also the euro zone's central plank to prevent
economic crisis devastating the bloc's bigger economies.
He told parliament that he would go to the Greek president
on Saturday to discuss formation of a broader-based government
that would secure the euro zone bailout, adding that he was
willing to discuss who would head a new administration.
Sources said Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos has won
the backing of leaders of some smaller parties to support a new
coalition that he would head.
The new government would call early elections in a few
months after the bailout was secured, sources close to the deal
The leaders of the far-right LAOS party and another
centre-right party indicated after Papandreou's speech that they
would cooperate in a new coalition.
Papandreou provoked uproar at home and abroad on Monday when
he announced a referendum on the bailout, agreed by euro zone
leaders only last week.
Under heavy domestic and international pressure, he backed
down on a vote which could well have rejected the deal,
potentially sinking euro zone leaders' attempts to stop the debt
crisis devastating economies such as Italy and Spain.
The government officially announced earlier on Friday that
the referendum would not go ahead.