Greek government to face confidence vote

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou’s government will face a vote of confidence in parliament on Friday evening.

The prime minister has called for a “consensus government” to pull the debt-wracked country out of the crisis and implement the terms of a controversial EU bailout plan.

Ahead of the crucial vote that could push Europe into a new political crisis, the Greek PM has opened up a possibility to hold early elections.

“My position is clear. We need to start discussions immediately on forming a government of wide consensus to bring normality back to the political situation, and implement the Brussels agreement before starting the electoral procedure,” he said.

Papandreou, who has been widely criticized in Brussels for his call of a referendum on the EU bailout, has not officially stated whether he will give up on the referendum. Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, however, said that it looked like the government was giving up on the referendum based on the prime minister’s speech.

Papandreou’s socialist PASOK party holds 152 seats in the 300-member parliament, but several political allies have threatened to vote against him on Friday.

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