Greek PM: Never Mind the Referendum
Posted on Nov 3, 2011
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou appeared to be losing his grip on both his country and his job on Thursday, as reports circulated that he had scrapped his surprise call for a nationwide referendum on the bailout plan proposed by eurozone leaders following last week’s emergency summit in Brussels. Although his political fate remains uncertain, Papandreou’s attempt to play to the opposition without losing the option of help from neighboring nations clearly backfired. —KA
Update: Reuters reports more details of the mounting Greek crisis, including warnings of disciplinary action coming from France and Germany.
Mr Papandreou offered to hold talks with the opposition to seek consensus on the deal, adding that the referendum was never an end in itself.
Four ministers, including influential Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, opposed the referendum and there were calls for the prime minister to resign.
EU leaders say Greece cannot get bailout cash until it agrees the deal.
Earlier the BBC reported that the PM was preparing to resign but state TV said he had ruled this out.
Wikimedia Commons / Department of Defense
Or how about we don’t do that?: George Papandreou, seen here at the Pentagon in 2002, when he was Greece’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, reneged on his plan to hold a bailout referendum. Now he could use a bailout.