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Things are not getting easier for Papandreou as his crisis stricken government is said to be on the moves to oust him as prime minister and replace him with current finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos. Even though Papandreou survived the confidence vote at 153 to 145, he is a divisive figure incapable of uniting the nation in a coalition able to muster the support to pass the austerity measures necessary to qualify for the European Financial Stability Facility assistance. The opposition New Democracy Party wants elections to be held immediately, forcing Papandreou’s socialist PASOK bloc to combine with parties on the far right in order to form a grand coalition of 180 MPs. Prime Minister Papandreou has been vocal about his willingness to give up his post as prime minister, a sentiment he reiterated during a press conference with Greek President Karolos Papoulias stating that he had never looked upon politics as a vocation and that the merely wanted to country united in its passing the measures necessary to signal to Greece’s eurozone partners her serious desire to remain within the currency bloc. Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos is a prominent rival of Papandreou’s and he has won the respect of his eurozone counterparts with the calm way in which he has handled the crisis in contrast to Papandreou’s sometimes bumbling style as exampled by his desire to call for a referendum on whether Greece should accept the austerity measures as prerequisite for a 50% reduction in her sovereign debt.

 

[The Guardian]