The Greek Prime Minister has narrowly won a confidence vote.
Antonis Samaras aims to present a united front in talks with EU/IMF lenders on exiting the country’s 240-billion-euro bailout and get anti-austerity MPs on his side. He also wanted to show the government is determined to avoid early elections.
Samaras said: “An early election would be disastrous, it would lead to a dramatic dead end. Greece is the only bastion of stability in the entire region.
“Whoever seeks to lead this land into the uncertainty and instability of a premature general election is damaging the country’s interest and undermines its position.”
It marks the beginning of a government campaign to win over the opposition ahead of a presidential election in February, but the radical left Syriza party intends to block Samaras’ choice.
Our correspondent in Athens, Stamatis Giannisis, reported: “The government had no trouble winning this confidence vote. But the real challenge for the Greek Prime Minister is in February, when he will need a super-majority of 180 MP’s in order to elect the next president of the Republic.
“With a combined conservative /socialist strength of 155 deputies in the 300 strong chamber, Samaras has to secure at least an extra 25 votes for his candidate, otherwise he will have to call an early election.”