The Greek parliament has begun debating the new coalition government’s policies ahead of a confidence vote on Wednesday.
It should determine whether the two main rival parties can cooperate and save Greece from default.
The new prime minister Lucas Papademos said the task of implementing a new economic programme was too big for the national unity government to implement in its 100-day term.
To restore the economy Greece needed support from its European partners, he said. Receiving the next batch of bailout aid and securing a new deal were priorities.
A protest by metal workers was the latest reminder of public hostility to continuous belt-tightening. The leader of Greece’s main conservative group Antonio Samaras has said his New Democracy party will not vote for any more austerity.
But international creditors are again due in Athens this week to monitor progress in applying measures agreed in the summer.