Greek government survives confidence vote but shrinks its own majority

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Greek government survives confidence vote but shrinks its own majority

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Greece’s conservative-led coalition has survived a bid to topple it after winning a confidence vote in parliament.

The censure motion, which came as the so-called troika of lenders are in town, was brought by he main opposition Syriza party which wants to overturn the government’s austerity policies.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras accused the opposition of being “trapped in a dead end”.

“The country is moving ahead,” he said, “and it is leaving behind the era of crisis, but you keep on fighting from within your party.”

Syriza’s leader Alexis Tsipras responded by accusing the government of reducing some people to searching through rubbish for food.

“Your policies have destroyed the country. The majority of the people suffer and live in despair.”

Outside parliament opposition supporters demonstrated against more austerity measures.

The troika of EU/IMF lenders is in Athens carrying out a crucial inspection visit to check on the government’s progress in meeting its bailout targets before they approve the release of up to 5.9 billion euros in loans.

Prime Minister Samaras and the troika, however, disagree over how many additional savings Athens needs to hit its 2014 budget targets.

Sunday’s vote did in the end damage the government by reducing its majority to just four after it expelled one of its own lawmakers for voting with the opposition.

Our reporter Nikoletta Kritikou said:

“Under the shadow of tough negotiations with the troika, which are highlighting the great gap between Athens and its foreign creditors, the Greek government finally won a confidence vote. A great number of MP’s however, severely criticised the government’s policies saying their vote was simply one of tolerance.”