New Greek government wins support of parliament

PM Papandreou received the backing of all 160 members of the socialist PASOK party, giving him a comfortable 10-seat majority.

New Greek government wins support of parliament

Greece's incoming socialist government won the support of parliament on Monday to steer the country out of fiscal crisis, revive its ailing economy and fight corruption.

In a vote of confidence in the early hours, Prime Minister George Papandreou received the backing of all 160 members of the socialist PASOK party, giving him a comfortable 10-seat majority.

Papandreou, who won a snap election on Oct. 4 called by the outgoing conservatives, will have to tackle Greece's first recession in 16 years, a budget gap of more than 10 percent of gross domestic product and the highest debt in the country's history.

"It will be difficult, no doubt about that, but I am optimistic," Papandreou said before the vote.

"Over the next four years, we will give our best. This is the mandate we were given by the people and this is the confidence that I am asking of you," he told parliament.

Burdened with the euro zone's second highest debt to GDP ratio after Italy based on 2008 figures, Greece's economy will shrink by 1.5 percent this year, according to government estimates. The country has been gripped by rising unemployment and social unrest.

Papandreou's Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou told Reuters on Friday the deficit would rise to more than 10 percent of GDP, above a euro zone ceiling of 3 percent and previous estimates of 6 percent.

The country's total public debt would rise to 300 billion euros ($447.6 billion) in 2009, the European Union's highest in terms of GDP, Papaconstantinou told parliament late on Sunday.



Reuters

Last Mod: 19 Ekim 2009, 12:30
Add Comment