- Title: GREECE-CONFIDENCE VOTE Greek PM wins confidence vote, snap election fears remain
- Date: 11th October 2014
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (OCTOBER 11, 2014) (REUTERS TV) (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK PRIME MINISTER, ANTONIS SAMARAS, SPEAKING AFTER RESULT SAYING: "The hopes of the Greek people will be fulfilled." (REPORTER ASKS: "Will you serve out your full term?") "Elections will happen in 2016." SAMARAS SURROUNDED BY PARTY DEPUTIES SAMARAS (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) OPPOSITION SYRIZA PARTY LEADER, ALEXIS TSIPRAS, RESPONDING TO RESULT SAYING: "Today the government showed its inability to be able to exert its influence inside parliament. Time is running out, and it cannot escape its destiny."
- Embargoed: 26th October 2014 12:00
- Location: Greece
- Country: Greece
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVA8MXWVRO53I58PWOG2MFB8N6HN
- Story Text: Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras comfortably won a confidence vote in parliament early on Saturday (October 11) to put an end to speculation that snap elections could be imminent.
The Greek government won the vote with its slim majority of 155 deputies. A total of 131 deputies voted against.
Samaras reiterated after the vote that elections will take place in 2016, when they are regularly scheduled.
"Today the government showed its inability to be able to exert its influence inside parliament," said leader of the main opposition, Alexis Tsipras of the Syriza party, after the vote, referring to the fact that Samaras did not garner more support from independents.
"Time is running out, and it cannot escape its destiny," he added.
Samaras wanted to show with the vote that Greece's coalition government is stable and will continue with economic reforms.
He also wants time to convince independent deputies to support his government in parliament in February when the assembly must choose a new president, the real test for Samaras coalition. Failure to achieve enough votes for its presidential candidate will force general elections. Samaras needs the support of 180 lawmakers to secure victory for his candidate for president, which the main opposition anti-bailout Syriza Party -- has said it will not back.
Tsipras repeated his call for early polls before the confidence vote.
"We are calling for elections. Not because we want to take power in a country under bailouts. We are calling for elections because we want to change Greece, we want to replace the degradation of the people and their values by a government program that will be full of hope, dignity and fairness," he told parliament.
"The interests of the country lay in having stability, not in endless elections, nor the danger of ungovernability," Samaras responded.
Protesters from the main civil servants union, most of them laid off workers due to government spending cuts, gathered outside the parliament building shortly before the vote calling on the government to step down.
"They are dead men walking. This (vote) is a public relations stunt so that they can stay in power for another four months. They will last until February, but they won't last any longer than that," said Anastasia Vaismenou, a school crossing guard that was laid off from her job.
Samaras is gambling that ditching the bailout and its hated austerity measures will help lure anti-bailout lawmakers to back him during the presidential vote. But investors fear quitting the bailout in 2015 - a year ahead of schedule - would expose Greece to bond market volatility and could mean a derailing of reform efforts promised under the current aid package.
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