Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has won a vote of confidence after he promised to hold power-sharing talks.
On Friday, before the vote of confidence, Papandreou gave an address to parliament for more than half an hour, saying that “immediate elections will be catastrophic,” but he would be prepared to negotiate a power-sharing settlement, the state-run BBC reported.
Papandreou said the economic bailout deal for Greece currently on offer by the European Union had to be accepted, and it would be “historically irresponsible” to lose it, though he is “past caring about his power and post.”
“I have been in contact with the (Greek) president and I will visit him tomorrow (Saturday) to inform him of my intentions and that I am moving forward with all the parties for a broader coalition government, and to agree on common goals, a timeframe and people, to agree on its composition and even the head of this coalition,” he stated.
“I therefore ask for a vote of confidence in order to ensure the security of this nation.”
Papandreou shocked his European Union partners last week when he called for a referendum on an EU deal to bail out debt-ridden Greece, but the finance minister confirmed on Friday that a referendum was not going to be held.
World markets were thrown into turmoil after the Greek prime minister's proposal for a referendum.
Germany had said that “a referendum would essentially be a vote on whether Greece wanted to be part of the EU” and that “the stability of the eurozone was more important than Greek membership.”
Eurozone leaders are worried that failure to solve the Greek debt crisis would raise the risk of serious financial instability spreading to other vulnerable economies, particularly Italy.
Since last year, the EU and the International Monetary Fund have provided Greece with two rescue packages worth over $380 billion (283 billion euros) in return for tough austerity measures adopted by Athens.