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Government Set to Win Confidence Vote, Cracks Emerge

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New government should comfortably survive a vote of confidence on Wednesday but Prime Minister Lucas Papademos faces a daunting task repairing the shattered public finances, and cracks are already appearing in his crisis coalition.
Polls show Papademos, a former vice president of the European Central Bank, has the backing of three in four Greeks but the need to implement painful tax rises and spending cuts to secure fresh loans and stave off bankruptcy will sorely test that support.
“The government is asking for a vote of confidence. This should not be taken for granted because of its big majority. It is a symbolic, political action,” Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said in Tuesday’s confidence debate.
“We will help ourselves and the euro zone if we do what we have to do now, quickly, responsibly, so that Greece can always be a member of the euro zone and for the euro zone to exist, to permanently overcome the risk of a default,” he said.
The vote is scheduled for 1300 GMT but may be delayed.
(source: Reuters)

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