A senior Greek ruling party lawmaker on Thursday reiterated her call for snap elections and a national unity government, as Prime Minister George Papandreou came under growing pressure over his proposal for a referendum on the country's bailout deal.

The only realistic proposal right now for the country to avoid collapse is to set up a government of national unity immediately, said Vasso Papandreou, who is not related to the prime minister.

Early elections should then be immediately called.

(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou, writing by Deepa Babington)