Papandreou breaks promise to Greek people

This video is called Greek protesters keep up pressure on government.

By Ben Chacko:

PM breaks promise to hold referendum

Thursday 03 November 2011

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou went back on his pledge to allow the people a say over the EU-imposed bailout deal today as his government teetered on the brink of collapse.

The PM made the U-turn after being savaged by eurozone bosses in Cannes, who threatened Greece with “enforced bankruptcy” if it failed to carry out a brutal programme of privatisation, slashing social security benefits and cutting public-sector salaries.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel reportedly told the premier that any referendum would have to be on remaining in the eurozone, not on the “austerity” programme – prompting a panic among his cabinet colleagues who fear that the Greek public might vote to leave the single-currency straitjacket.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, who had previously voiced his opposition to a public vote on the bailout deal, said: “Greece’s position within the euro cannot depend on a referendum.”

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker agreed and declared that “everything must be done so that one euro country does not leave the 17.”

Senior figures in Mr Papandreou’s ruling Pasok party were said to have opened negotiations with opposition MPs over overthrowing the PM and forming a national coalition to nip any popular revolt against EU diktats in the bud.

Greek EU commissioner Maria Damanaki called on all Greek politicians to “redefine their positions to secure the country’s continued membership of the eurozone and the implementation of October’s agreements.

“Everything else is secondary.”

And Pasok MP Dimitris Kremastinos urged the prime minister to “summon a meeting of party leaders to issue a declaration that no referendum will be held on the euro.”

Mr Papandreou faces a confidence vote in parliament tomorrow – but as the Morning Star went to press it was unclear whether he would survive till then, with members of his own party saying their leader was “history.” The premier was rumoured to be planning to step down at an emergency cabinet meeting scheduled for last night.

Greece: Throwing Down the Gauntlet to Austerity: here.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou survived a vote of no confidence last night, but only by pledging immediate moves to form a national unity government: here.

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