Greece’s PM Readies for Austerity Package Vote
Wednesday, June 22, 2021 9:30 AM

Greece's government won a key vote of confidence Tuesday evening, setting the stage for passage of an austerity plan and the release of more bailout funds from the International Monetary Fund. The government will now approve a new austerity package on Wednesday after it survived a confidence vote that was a crucial hurdle in a battle to avert the euro zone's first sovereign debt default.

Prime Minister George Papandreou's reshuffled cabinet aims to get parliamentary approval for a package of spending cuts, tax hikes and state asset sales by June 28 and implement it by July 3 to secure 12 billion euros ($17 billion) in aid that is vital to avoid bankruptcy.

Greece's prime minister must now consolidate support for a new austerity package he needs to push through parliament. George Papandreou needs to pass 28 billion euros ($40.24 billion) in budget cuts and new taxes and privatize euro50 billion worth of public assets by the end of the month. Then the cash-strapped country can get its hands on 12 billion euros of bailout funds to stave off a disastrous default by mid-July.

All 155 lawmakers from Papandreou's Socialist party voted to back their leader in the 300-seat parliament. But Papandreou still needs to convince several to support the measures which they have publicly criticized.