Chance of Greek PM Losing Confidence Vote: High

Meanwhile, the G20 wrestles with Greece mess
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 3, 2011 7:18 AM CDT
Chance of Greek PM George Papandreou Losing Tomorrow's Confidence Vote: High
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou answers reporters after a meeting at the G20 summit in Cannes, Wednesday Nov.2, 2011.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

Things aren’t looking good for George Papandreou ahead of tomorrow’s confidence vote: The Greek prime minister has lost several key supporters over his shocking plan to put the EU bailout to a vote on Dec. 4—and now has a majority of just one, Reuters reports. Greece's use of Europe's common currency "cannot depend on a referendum," said Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos as he broke with Papandreou today. Papandreou called an emergency meeting of his Cabinet after Venizelos’ defection, the Washington Post reports. If he cannot scrape by with his slim majority on tomorrow’s vote, he will lose his job and the referendum will likely not occur; there is also speculation his own party will ask him to resign.

Meanwhile, President Obama and other world leaders are in Cannes today for the G20, which is once again focused on the mess in Greece. European leaders, led by Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, agreed at a last-minute meeting they will not release the next installment of bailout funds to Greece until after the Dec. 4 referendum. If Greece doesn’t receive the funds by early next month, it will default, the Los Angeles Times notes. While the vote was initially planned to focus on the bailout—which is unpopular with Greek citizens—it will now focus on eurozone membership itself, a change that appears to be influenced by Merkel and Sarkozy, the Wall Street Journal reports. (Read more George Papandreou stories.)

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