Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
SUNDAY, 20 APR 2014
06:58 AM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
21 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
International
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
New Greek government faces confidence vote
Agence France Presse
The debate on the coalition government's policy program continues for a second day, with a view to the vote of confidence to the government, scheduled for midnight on Sunday. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI
The debate on the coalition government's policy program continues for a second day, with a view to the vote of confidence to the government, scheduled for midnight on Sunday. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI
A+ A-

ATHENS: Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras's government faced a confidence vote on Sunday capping three days of often heated debate over how the recession-wracked country can emerge from crisis.

"The goal of the government is to guarantee the place of Greece in the eurozone against those who want to undermine it," Samaras told lawmakers in his first major address as Greece's new leader after winning an election in June.

The outcome of the vote in parliament held little mystery with Samaras's conservative New Democracy party leading a coalition of 179-seats in the 300-seat chamber with the socialist PASOK party and the much smaller Democratic Left.

In his Friday speech outlining the government's programme, Samaras insisted that Greece would push through delayed reforms and privatisations, but would also request a break from its EU-IMF bailout programme to fight a recession now in its fifth year.

"Our problem is not adopting reforms, which we will do without question. It is not reaching an objective, which we will meet. But it is finding an end to the recession," the 61-year-old prime minister said.

Since the election, coalition members have made plain their desire to revisit terms of the second 130-billion-euro ($160-billion) bailout agreed with creditors from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank.

PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, who helped negotiate the bailout deal last winter, said Greece must seek new terms and extend a deadline to balance its budget by three years.

And new Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras reiterated in parliament Saturday that "an extension" was necessary.

However, he cautioned that Greece could not launch a renegotiation without first "taking the measures delineated in the adjustment plan."

"We must adopt the measures included in the second loan in February so that we do not threaten the release of this loan," Stournaras said drawing outbursts from leftist opposition lawmakers.

Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the leftist Syriza party that came in a close second in the June election, accused the government of selling off state assets "like a real estate agent."

"The government will have to account for its actions, the looting of public goods," Tsipras said, accusing Samaras and his ministers of reneging on an electoral promise to revisit the bailout agreement.

But winning the reprieve will not be easy as officials from Greece's creditors have shown stiff resistance to renegotiation talk and refuse to give up more money until progress is seen.

"I'm not in a negotiations or renegotiations mood at all," said IMF chief Christine Lagarde on Tuesday.

And an EU official said Friday that Greece will not receive its next tranche of bailout of aid, reported to be 31.5 billion euros on August 20, unless it continues the implementation of demanded economic reforms.

The parliament session comes as auditors from the EU and IMF continue to probe Greece's finances. Their conclusions, expected later this month, will help lenders decide whether to proceed with Greece's current loan programme.

In his speech, Samaras admitted that Greece had fallen behind in its programme, led off course by an extended election season after a first vote in May failed to produce a workable majority.

 
Home International
 
     
 
Greece
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Saturday April 19, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS