Yesterday, Greece’s Prime Minister George Papandreou faced a key confidence vote, the results of which would determine whether he would be able to continue at his job in his efforts to introduce new austerity measures necessary for Greece to receive more aid money. Late Tuesday, Papandreou’s cabinet won the vote, 155 votes to 143 votes, with 2 abstentions. Now the Greek parliament will vote on additional austerity measures.
Since parliament first announced the institution of new austerity measures last week, massive protests have been breaking out in Athens, with citizens opposed to the additional 28 billion euros in austerity measures and an accelerated 50 billion euro privatization program taking to the streets outside of parliament. Massive strikes also took place last week, crippling transportation and government offices. Still, upon the expectation that Greece will now be eligible for the next tranche of aid in their 110 billion euro aid package approved by European finance ministers last year, global concern about the possibility of Greek default causing a wider economic downturn has settled, and the euro has already made gains Wednesday in Asian trading.