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Greek Government Survives Confidence Vote

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou's government has narrowly survived a confidence vote in parliament.

Papandreou's government received 153 votes of support in the 300-seat parliament in the vote early November 5.

The vote was held after Papandreou, in an address to parliament, called for the formation of a new coalition government to approve the 130 billion euro international bailout deal that Greece urgently needs to avoid bankruptcy.

Papandreou said he planned to go to Greece's president to discuss formation of a broader-based government.

In an indication he could step down as prime minister, Papandreou also said he is willing to discuss who could head a new administration.

The confidence vote came a day after Papandreou defied demands to resign over his decision to hold a referendum on the euro-zone bailout deal.

European Union leaders and world markets reacted negatively after Papandreou proposed that Greece hold a referendum on the bailout agreement, which contains unpopular austerity measures.

The idea of a referendum has now been abandoned.

EU leaders have warned Greece that if it rejects the bailout deal, the country would have to leave the eurozone, and possibly even the European Union.

compiled from agency reports