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New Greek PM wins confidence vote

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New Greek PM wins confidence vote

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Greece’s new government has won a confidence vote in parliament, though it knows the hard job is yet to come.

Latest figures show the budget deficit continued to widen in October, a reminder of the difficult times ahead for new prime minister Lucas Papademos.

Also, the conservative opposition leader Antonis Samaras had earlier refused to sign a written pledge demanded by the European Commission to do what is needed to meet the conditions of an EU bailout.

But he did end up giving his vote of confidence to unblock the next instalment of aid that Greece needs to avert bankruptcy.

Samaras also reiterated his call for early elections in February, saying they were necessary “to ensure social stability”.

In a symbolic protest today, union members from Italy’s public power cooperation cut electricity at the country’s Health Ministry.