Tonight's the Night: Greek PM Braces for Vote

Prospects uncertain; adviser eyed as interim leader
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2011 7:41 AM CDT
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou Braces for Confidence Vote
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou speaks during a parliament session in Athens, Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011.   (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Tonight's the night for George Papandreou, and things still look pretty dismal. Though lawmakers yesterday managed to arrive at an agreement on Europe’s bailout plan, the Greek PM's chances of emerging on top after this evening's confidence vote are slim, the Washington Post notes. His Socialist party holds 152 of Parliament’s 300 seats, but at least two members of his party have already vowed to vote against him; an independent lawmaker who previously said she would back him now says she’ll abstain from voting, reports the Wall Street Journal.

If Papandreou loses the vote, a caretaker government would likely step in, with elections following shortly; even if he wins, some Socialists are calling for elections within a matter of months. Several have even indicated they'll only support Papandreou tonight if doing so comes with the assurance that elections will be held in early 2013. But the Journal suggests that Papandreou’s resignation is likely, and that a caretaker government could be headed by a former European Central Bank VP and economic adviser to Papandreou, Lucas Papademos. An MIT-educated economist currently at Harvard, his financial credentials would likely meet with the approval of European leaders and the markets, the Journal adds. (More Greece stories.)

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