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Greece: Papandreou Confidence Vote -Live Blogging in English

Under the pressure of many of his deputies Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is being ‘forced’ to deliver his speech a couple of hours earlier than scheduled. Not shortly before the confidence vote starts at midnight, but in good half-an-hour, at 8 pm local time.

Ruling party PASOK parliamentary group is boiling as quite a number of deputies are not willing to cast a confidence vote, unless Papandreou commits to immediately start talks for the establishment of a national unity government and step down.

During the day several PASOK deputies told Greek media, they will decide after listening to Papandreou’s speech. Some even said that the vote is not to show confidence to wards the government or Papandreou but to authorize the government to form a national unity gov’t.

On Thursday alleged “coalition talks” between PASOK and  main opposition party leader Antonis Samaras from conservative Nea Dimokratia didn’t come even to a meeting between the two parties.

For some insights on the Greek political developments of the last hours see KTG-Article from today’s noon: Vote of Confidence – Last Act of Greek Tragicomedy? 

07:50 pm

Anotnis Samaras (Nea Dimokratia) demands Papandreou’s resignation in order to hold talks on national unity government.

At 6 pm the Metro stations <Syntagma> and <Evaggelismos> were closed by Greek police out of fear of possible incidents due to protests of Greek Communist Party (KKE) and civic organisations at Syntagma Sq, outside the Greek parliament.

08:11 pm

Papandreou’s speech in delay [usual PASOK time…]

Several PASOK deputies spoke and said they will give him their vote of confidence.

Other have said, they cast their confidence only if he commits to resign.

During the day Health Minister Andreas Loverdos, aspiring PASOK chairman, gave an ultimatum to Papandreou “Either you resign, or I do”.

08:16 pm

According to newspaper Proto Thema (online edition) Papandreou will (?) go to a national unity government with another PM, not him. He reportedly favors a transition government consisting of politicians [not technocrats as it has been proposed by several circles] and to serve for a period of some 6 months.

A coalition government/ national unity or salvation government will  most likely not be headed by a party leader as PM, but a 3rd person, even somebody from outside the parliament.

08:22 pm

Kosta Skandalidis, Agriculture Minister, asks the ‘coalition talks to start tomorrow morning. Asks the PM to set a date for snap elections.

08:26 pm

Claims: Papandreou’s counselors advice him to proclaim early elections tonight and cancel the confidence vote in order to  unite his deputies around his person. Will he do sch a thing? You never know with Papandreou….

 08:40 pm

Ex-FinMin George Papaconstantinou (the “Memorandum”-Minister) lashes out against the media.

Weird: No government minister feels obliged to devote even a word to the porposed “referendum” that plunged the stock markets, humiliated the country and froze the 6th aid tranche. The much-promising Referendum turned into a Taboo topic.

 08:45 pm

Papandreou reportedly to deliver his speech by 9 pm.

Latest scenario (unverified): Papandreou will step down and appoint FinMin Venizelos as PM.

The government wins the confidence vote, when it gets 50%+1 positive votes from the present deputies.

Ministers and PASOK deputies who doubted on PM in the last 24 hours will play a key role.

MPs from main opposition party Nea Dimokratia are not present during the confidence vote debate at the Parliament. They will be present for the vote though.

9:10 pm

No Papandreou speech so far [did he get on the helicopter? Just kidding, guys!]

Several PASOK deputies and ministers speak and they all fight for the ‘national interest and the people’.

[I started to zzzzz… already :(]

 09:20 pm

Papandreou comes any minute…

 09:22 pm

Rumor:Venizelos will be PM [scenarios to keep the interest of TV viewers’ alive and awake…]

9:26 pm

Scenarios for the next day or tonight (from Greek news portal

Scenario 1: coalition gov PASOK-ND, PM a politician of common consent. Venizelos (PASOK) and Dimas (ND) act as alternate PMs. Papandreou remains Pasok chairman. Elections in March 2012.

Scenario 2: One party government with Venizelos as PM. Papandreou PAsOK chairman. Elections in March 2012.

Target of this gov’t to ratify the Oct 26th Loan Agreement, work out the details for the PSI (haircut of Greek state bonds) and the release of 6th aid tranche (8 billion euro).

In recent public surveys, PASOk and ND get hardly 50% together.

I assume those leaking these scenarios disregard the voices for early elections…

Still no Papandreou in, at or around the Parliament…

09:41 pm

Christos Papoutsi, Citizens’ Protection Minister (the one with the riot police beating journos, you know) said:” Yes to elections after the country is economically saved”

[I think, they told us Papandreou will talk at 8 pm in order to enforce us to watch all pro-PM speeches….]

 09:57 pm

No Papandreou speech  [… Jesus!]

MP Kourakis from left-wing SYRIZA said two Greek activists, members of the Gaze flotilla were catoured by Isreali Defence Forces.

10:05 pm

We need something to stay alive… sorry… awake 🙂

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 22:00 pm

FinMin Venizelos entered PM’s office at the Parliament. =Fact

Greek blogger @pitsirikos has the …report: “Pap gave the ring of succession to Venizelos. He swallowed it. Now he on the way to hospital for stomach lavage and enema” = joke

 10:20 pm

Venizelos, Diamantopoulou (Educ) and Loverdos (Health) came out of PM’s office. Diamantopoulou looks ‘grim’, Loverdos (aspiring PASOK chairman or PM) seems ‘lost’. Two things happened:

Either Pap won’t step down or he authorized as his successor Venizelos… ???

22:26 pm

Given the number of present deputies in Parliament right now, the government would need 146+ positive votes to win confidence vote. Maybe some are out for a cig…

 10:37 pm

There are claims that neither Venizelos was happy after meeting with PM. Won’t Papandreou step down???

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 10:45 pm

Papandreou’s assistants leak to the press that he will deliver a ‘historical speech’ and that tonight the “people will speak”. Eh? Will Papandreou proclaim early elections????

10:55 pm

Anna Diamantopoulou (EduMin) speaking: she compared Greece with the ‘fly of the butterfly that brings the chaos around the world’… she give confidence vote.

11:03 pm

Papandreou entered the plenary hall in Parliament.

Now he speaks!

George Papandreou speaking

– I came a fight to save the country in the last 24 months. With the support of the Greek people. Criticism of those wanting the old system to survive.

-Did I double the debt or was it the old government, Nea Dimokratia?

– Now we run from meeting to meeting, we pay the price of clientelism etc. I try to pick up the pieces.

– We made a deal on Oct 26th that it will give the country the neccessary funds to function, to secure our remaining in the euroz0ne, the bank savings are secured, there will be no 50% cuts in salaries as some say.

-This agreement has to be implemented… I’m glad that Nea Dimokratia will accept it.

– We make historic changes in this country, when the participation of the citizens is reqeusted [I know, I now paying very heavy taxes]

He speaks about lack of law that hits the poor and weak , while it lets the rich and storng escape.

– We need laws to change this.

– It’s not enough to change the policies.

Well… he speaks about social justice that has to prevail and lot sof blah blah blah (sorry…)

-We carried the cross to change everything  and combat the establishment, to mutate the consiences. What we need is a sincere broader cooperation.

-This could have been done  throught the referendum , and I deeply believe that the answer would have been YES, because people want to decide by themselves.

– All the opposition parties were against it because they were afraid of the overwhelming results, that they would lose their go-in-between roles…. [pinch me, somebody, pls]

– Our ref decision shoke the markets because they realized there were people that could vote – G20 must understand that they’re people as well not only the stock markets.

– the Loan Agreement would restore Greece’s credibility.

– I spoke many times about direct democracy even in EU president election, and I was always criticized as ‘adventurous’.

– Breaking taboos for the shake of the country.

-Direct democracy with direct participation of the people.

[I have the feeling he will introduce a presidential system where people will vote for the president!!!]

– Early/Snap elections:  at this time it’s not possible, they would risk the loan agreement and the 6th aid tranche, the PSI, the 7th aid tranche (due in Febr ’12, 80 billion euro incl 30 bn for the banks).

Until the new gov would stand, the new gov would have to take conf vote, and would be unable to vote the budget 2012.

– Elections could take part when we fulfill our duties.

[ I don’t think he will resign… ]

– We could go on a broader coalition government with under the conditions that we agree to fulfill our duties, work out the loan-agreement, the PSI etc [I will add later…]

 -there is only one way a cross party government

-I’m not stuck on the (PM) chair.

– We should show solidarity in paying taxes, we should change with … love (?)

– I tak emy responsibilities

he talks about his family grand Papandreou, papa Papandreou, for democracy, homeland, this traditions give me strength to continuew in my next steps.

 – I ask the vote of confidence.

Tomorrow I will seek the President and brief him about my intension for a broader cross party government (PASOK MPs apploud). I will speak with all party leaders…

 is it understood now??? Papandreou will not resign!

He revealed an x-points plan/road map for the broader coalition. I will post it later or tomorrow. I’m not sure that the othe rparties will accept it.

In a broader multipartisan coalition government, usually not a party leader, but a  ‘3rd person’ of common consent will be the Prime Minister.

The vote of confidence is to form a broader coalition government.

Papandreou speech finished.

Now Aleka Papariga Greek Communist Party (KKE) speaks:

– if I understood weel, you propose a borader gov’t for 1-2 years.

If I understood well, you need a borader coalition gov because you will take more brutal austerity measures. Not to blackmails!

 On the Floor Giorgos Karatzaferis , far-right LAOS ( Parl spokesman told him to be brief and he said: Why, the PM spoke 45 min lol)

– some PASOK deputies applouded when the PM spoke about all the misconditions in the country. But PASOK was in the gov for many years.

-We said 18 months ago (May 2010- Memorandum of U/IMF) we proposed a broader coalition. but rejected by PASOK.

-we have to save the country [OHNO!]

– Nea Dimokratia must accept the proposal. We must all fight together.

-hurray the Homeland !

****sorry for typos, misspelling, and occasional ‘wrong words’ ***

 Now on the floor Alexis Tsipras, left-wing SYRIZA

However you call this broader gov, it will be a gov that will not have the people’s mandate.

– Merkel, Sarkozy will dictate the form of the gov [in Cannes G20 today Merkel/Sarkozy and ? said Greece needs a ‘permanent, stable government’ – I wonder if they will cancel elections in Greece!)

– I often criticized the policies of this gov – People suffer because they have experienced wages cuts, heavy taxes, jobless are 1,000,000.

-What gov are you talking about , of which parties, for how long? This gov will have not people’s mandate. You said, elections would be a danger.  EU/IMF are scared to death that Greeks may reject the agreement. the problem is that this government now was chosen under u=other circumstances.

– If you want broader consent, go for elections with simple majority and then we can talk about a broader coalition gov. elections on Dec 4th.

– No salvation gov can save the country without people’s mandate.

Now FinMin Venizelos speaks:

– The majority of the MPs (all parties) and the public opinion doe snot understand how important it is to have a political consent …. in the richest country of the world (WOW!)

 -On Nov 7 -nxt Monday- the country must be present with a govern at the Eurogroup summit.

– the new govern (the broader) until end February 2012. No new measures [promised?]

– (new name for the new broader gov) “Gov’t of broader responsibility”.

– if we go for early elections, what govern will arise and with what policy? The country can collapse within a day.

I wonder if Nea Dimokratia will take the floor. The vote of confidence was due at 12. It’s after  midnight and they might turn into pumkins (Cinderella)…

Ok, Nea Dimokratia did not take the Floor!!! keeps apparently cards close – earlier Samaras had demanded Papandreou should resign, if there were to be a coalition gov.


Confidence vote beginns – MPs are called by name so say YES or NO

my impression is that Papandreou will win the confidence vote, because he told ‘rebels’ within his party that he will go for a coalition government….

George Papandreou votesd ….. YES!

*** time for a break and commercials ***

 some music? Save the Last …Vote for me…

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1) so far all PASOK ex-‘rebels’ MPs voted YES.

2) Antonis Samaras (ND) ” The masks have fallen. Papandreou rejected our proposal. He took huge responsibility. Only solution …. elections”. Nea Dimokratis is the biggest opps party with 88 (or 85?) seats

3) unverified info: Papandreou proposed to Samaras FinMin Venizelos as a person of common consent’ ie PM – no wonder Samaras rejects coalition.

4) according to Constitution, the gov’t remains in power until coalition deal is secured

Voting concluded ! now votes counting

[If I ‘m not mistaken he must have taken  151 YES votes !? …] waiting for the official results.

 There is a question: He wins conf vote but is unable to form coalition gov. What happens next? We return to the squares and keep demonstrating?

So far only far-right LAOS accepted the offer for coalition. Will Greece get a National-Socialist government???? #surrealism

298 MPs voted

YES 153 (long applaoud when parl spoeksman announces)

NO 145

Greek media sees some coalition chances between PASOK, LAOS and Bakoyannis (neo-liberal) parties but together they don’t get 180 votes as the govern said that the loan-agreement need to pass with 180 votes.

Samaras reportedly said YES to loan agreement but that he will not vote for loss of sovereignty.

Bakoyianni apparently said that she cannot imagine a broader coalition gov wihtout the two big parties (PASOK, ND).

the rest of the scenarios… tomorrow 🙂

Thank you very much for reading and following Keep Talking, Greece!  Have a great weekend!




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  1. Is this some kind of hide and seek game?
    This is better than Monte Python!
    Playing “Chicken Race” with 8bn €?

    Sad to watch…

  2. The people should have been allowed to vote! Instead it was nothing more than a political ploy to get the opposition on side. The EU will result ultimately, in the loss of sovereignty for every nation involved. The land. The people. Their democracy and sovereignty are all at stake!!! The Greek people will be Greek in name only. They will be a “state” in the European UNION.

    If you were still GREECE nationals, why do your passports say EU. They are forming the United States of Europe and the Greek are so frightened they are giving in, just as the Irish did. But Greeks can still default, hold a vote and find a way out. Declare bankruptcy and start over. People stop pretending it’s some sort of benign political movement. It’s a banking takeover and they will OWN you and you will never NEVER be allowed to leave. It is stated in their own documents. It’s exactly what people were warned about the End of Sovereignty. The End of nations.

    • Jesus! we want another government. the Referendum wouldn’t have solved the governance problem.

    • “They are forming the United States of Europe…” Yes? So??? Yes! Let’s fight against “The End of Nations”! Great. Let’s fight the banks. I know the local ATE-bank director. Good idea to fight him first! Oh, and when I am at it. Let me include fighting you too. Don’t know you, don’t know where you are from. But it won’t hurt to be save. And all in the name of preventing the end of sovereignty.
      Glad that we are way beyond those memories of sovereign European nation states fighting the living daylight out of each other in the name of… THE VATHERLAND or whatever.
      Please, grow up!!!

      • if i hear in the news a local ATE director was punched in the face, I’ll give your name to the police. HA!

      • Is it grown up to allow an unelected body to dictate how you live your life and spend any money you have left over after you have paid THEIR taxes?
        I am speaking as an Englishman (living in this beautiful country) and voted, like the vast majority of English, in a referendum many many years ago to join the ‘Common Market’ That is what it was, a common market and trade area. This is nothing more than a political project for those who want to turn you from a Greek, English, French, etc. etc. into a subservient European.
        My knowledge of economics is very limited and restricted to managing personal and household finance but even I realised that at the start of the Euro project it would fail without fiscal union amongst the Euro countries.
        If when Greece went into the Euro you were told that your national fiscal policy will be taken away from you and managed by faceless unelected bureaucrats in Brussels there would have been a resounding no. This hasn’t happened by accident far greater economic brains than mine saw what would happen, Greece and many other countries are now backed into a corner and have little alternative than to accept or face the alternative.
        Of course as you are aware the content of the Lisbon treaty which was passed without any sort of vote in Greece and most of the other countries allows the movement of police and armed forces during civil unrest from one member state to another. I for one do not want to see German or French police/army on the streets of London – how do you feel about them appearing in Syntagma Square when the Greek police go on strike?

    • I agree.

    • Don cha worry, man. We all got AK’s and we all had to go to army or to souvlaki mafia

  3. No Papandreou in sight yet? Pasok Time is getting boring. And although BBC talks about “events that will shape our future” I fear not being able to stay alive… sorry, meant awake. Yes we might have time to watch Awaken part 1-3 live in the mean time 😀

  4. C’mon Greece! Get you act together and tell the bankers and the rest of Europe to STUFF IT. Then get your act together and dig yourself out of the mess. That is the only real solution, flush ALL YOUR DEBTS and then live with the consequences. You’ve partied like is was 1999 for the past 12 years and now it’s time to pay the tab, take your medicine, and get BACK TO WORK.

    Don’t you have any national pride and work ethic?

  5. Thanks for the live blogging…

  6. High Moon 12 o’clock”:
    The 300 come out of the brothelhood mad-house at Syndama:
    “Here we are, we surrender, power to the people”
    People: “???”
    300: “From now on there will be no government in Greece”
    People: “Never again?”
    300: “Where is the guillotine? Where the helicopters? Is there enough space for us in Koridallos or can we live on a dry and rocky island?”
    People: “Ask Dario Fo!”

  7. You’ll never get out of the present mess, unless you leave the Euro-zone and reintroduces the Drachmas.

  8. OMG i forgot that this is the government of the old-school anti-authoritarians but where are their hoods?
    Take a submarine and let G20 burn in hell…?

  9. Hign unemployment here in the US too. But the “deal” you guys have struck with the evil bankers isn’t going to solve the problem it is only going to make it worse. At somepoint you have to flush it and start over. My heart goes out to you Greece. Good luck.

  10. My god… I am speechless. And now? When will the vote be finished? Headcount or not?

  11. GREAT BLOG for those of us watching from America.

  12. Thanks for the updates. US media coverage is all reporting that Papa will stand down, but that does not appear to be the case. What does your gut tell you about the confidence vote’s outcome?

    • don’t blame the US media – it’s the time difference and they’re stick to the earlier scenarios of the day 🙂

  13. “The masks have fallen.” Samaras feels scr*wed big time (and for once I agree with him he was ‘taken’ big time) 😀

    • But more serious: Government will pass the vote… Now a government until at least February. And a coalition? With the small parties? Which? And GPAP still at the helm???

      • keeptalkinggreece

        seen my last updates under the vote results?

        • Yes, but that was after I submitted these comments and there is no possibility to withdraw a comment. Would be nice. 😀

          But thank you so much for the great work. Again! And kalo sabbatokiriako!

  14. iaourti iaourtaki

    Respect, the dude is tricky and from now on he doesn’t need a coalition or anything else.
    Thanks for the ticker

    it wasn’t the 1st time LAOS assisted… 153 votes look like too.
    “Greek ‘National-Socialist Government'” would be a hammer headline for the Bloedzeitung or a special “selfmade” edition for tourists.

    • LAOS didn’t assist in the voting – the 153td came from Katseli -expelled form the party lasy? week- but rejoining it in a fastive mood yesterday ..