Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou survived a parliamentary confidence vote by a narrow margin on Saturday, which leaves the efforts of EU to fight the debt crisis on a firmer foundation.
The last thing I care about is my post. I don't care even if I am not re-elected. The time has come to make a new effort ... I never thought of politics as a profession, Papandreou told the parliament before the vote.
Papandreou's socialist government won with 153 votes in the 300-member parliament, which included the support of all members of his Socialist Party, known as Pasok, and an independent. Several members who had said they would oppose the prime minister ultimately rallied to support him.
Had Papandreou lost the vote, his government would have been brought down, throwing the debt agreement into jeopardy. Papandreou came into power in October 2009, and has spent his entire tenure coping with the spiraling debt crisis.
Papandreou dismissed demands for rapid elections as championed by the opposition. Elections at this moment not only equal disaster but could not take place in the best interest of the people, he said.
There is one solution. To support the (EU bailout) deal with a multiparty approach, without elections, with a strong government.
Parliament will also have to approve the bailout plan which will result in clearing the path for the $11 billion installment of bailout money that will be needed by the country for avoiding default by mid-December.
There is also need for a Greek unity government which will be aimed at avoiding an early debt default and preventing uncontrolled exit from the euro. Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos could also act as an interim prime minister in a coalition government.