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Papandreou prepares for crucial vote

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Papandreou prepares for crucial vote

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Premier George Papandreou has been rallying EU support before facing today’s confidence vote in the Greek parliament.

He was in Brussels yesterday spelling out his belt tightening measures which are so deeply unpopular back home but which have to be approved before the next tranche of vital international bailout funds will be released.

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso and EU President Herman Van Rompuy admitted Greece had some difficult decisions to make. But Prime Minister George Papandreou reassured them of his determination, saying:

“I’d like to say that we are determined as a country and as a government to be on track with the programme, to move forward, to do what is necessary in order to put our country into a fiscally much better, viable position.”

With a slim majority in parliament, Papandreou is expected to win the crucial vote despite dissenting voices in his own party.

After that, a series of reforms and austerity measures will be put before parliament on June 28.

Meanwhile protesters are planning yet another rally before this evening’s motion.