An under pressure but determined Greek premier and his cabinet have survived a parliamentary vote of confidence.
It was a night of heated debate in which George Papandreou warned consensus was needed to win the vital bailout funds required to avoid bankruptcy.
“This vote of confidence is a contract with the Greek people,” said Papandreou, “a contract of what we can promise but also what we cannot promise on the side of the government. But it is also a commitment of what every Greek can do for their country.”
Next, MPs must approve a further 28-billion-euro austerity package.
But outside thousands of Greeks opposed to more cuts and tax hikes were equally determined to make their voices heard.
One anti-government protester said “There is great indignation around you. There is a lot of desperation that is registered on the faces of the people around us. It means there is no future.”
Weeks of demonstrations against the government’s handling of the economic crisis came to a head after the vote with clashes and arrests.