Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Sunday appealed to parliament to support a new cabinet appointed to push through painful economic reforms, saying a debt default would be catastrophic.

Papandreou asked parliament to pass a vote of confidence in a reshuffled cabinet he appointed on Friday to push through a five-year package of new tax hikes and spending cuts agreed with international lenders.

The prime minister, whose own political survival is on the line over the package, said the country was at a critical crossroads and its problems could not be solved by rejecting international help.