The government of Loukas Papademos received a vote of confidence in parliament today. 255 MPs voted in favour, 38 against. Three deputies from the coalition broke with party discipline to vote against. Conservative Panos Kammenos was expelled from New Deomcracy, making him the second MP to suffer that fate in two days after Sotiris Hatzigakis. Pasok did not move to discipline Panayotis Kourouplis and Christos Katsouras.
Papademos already faces problems in releasing the 8bn euro instalment of the bailout. He asked the leaders of the three parties in his coalition to sign a letter saying they stand by the terms of the IMF and eurozone-sponsored bailout.
But the leader of the conservative New Democracy party – Antonis Samaras - is refusing to sign. Samaras’ signature is important for 2 reasons: Greece’s European creditors want his signature, because he has was in opposition to many of the country's austerity measures, saying they have made Greece’s recession worse and put people out of work. And Polls suggest he is set to become the next prime minister after elections that could take place as early as February.