News / Europe

Greek Opposition Leader Calls for Early Elections

Conservative Greek opposition leader Antonis Samaras addresses conservative members of parliament in Athens, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011.
Conservative Greek opposition leader Antonis Samaras addresses conservative members of parliament in Athens, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011.

A Greek opposition leader has called on Prime Minister George Papandreou to resign and repeated a call for early elections, ahead of a confidence vote expected in parliament on Friday.

Antonis Samaras made the demand Thursday during a parliamentary meeting to vote on whether to accept a European Union bailout package that contains deeply unpopular spending cuts.

Mr. Papandreou said Thursday that calling early elections would be "catastrophic."  The prime minister also said Greece must implement the EU bailout plan.

Those developments came after Mr. Papandreou told his Cabinet earlier in the day that he will drop plans for a nationwide referendum on the plan.

Officials say Mr. Papandreou dropped his call for the referendum after the opposition reversed its position and said it would support the deal.  The prime minister said if he had the opposition's backing on the deal, there was no need to hold a referendum.

European leaders have warned Greece that if it does not follow the terms of the bailout package, it will get no more EU funding. Mr. Papandreou has said that Greece's future in the eurozone is at stake.

Earlier Thursday, opposition leader Samaras called for the creation of a transition government to prepare for early elections, rather than allow Mr. Papandreou to hold the referendum.  Lawmakers in Mr. Papandreou's own party had threatened to abandon his government over the controversial vote.

And Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos broke ranks Thursday with Mr. Papandreou over the referendum proposal, saying Greece's status in the eurozone should not be put to a popular vote.

On the street, some Greek citizens say they want the euro, but they fear future hardships.

"I believe we must stay in the euro even though the European Union is not a saint.  It followed a policy that was in the interest of the large political powers and that is why Greece is having problems, but I believe it provides a support for the country," said a student.

"I prefer we stay in the euro because we will be destroyed otherwise.  They are trying to destroy us but I hope they don't succeed.  I think they [the government] should go home," said another person.

"There is no other solution.  Is there any other solution than the euro?  When we will be paying for gas in drachmas what will we do?  They [the government] have no idea what they are doing unfortunately," said another.

"Greece must stay in the euro, but Papandreou must resign," said a pensioner.

"Since we entered the European Union, I see that instead of having a better life, things are getting worse and I don't know where we will end up.  There are many vested interests outside and inside Greece, and I don't know how this will end.  I don't know from now on what is best for us," said another person.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More