Jun 16 - Embattled Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou says he's ready to fight to get Greece out of a debt crisis even as members of his own party resign over his austerity plans. Conway G. Gittens reports.
PLEASE NOTE THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL A media frenzy outside the Greek parliament building as Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou heads into a meeting of the socialist party in a day filled with chaos. SOUNDBITE: FINANCE MINISTER GEORGE PAPACONSTANTINOU (GREEK WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION) SAYING: "At this very difficult moment, there is only one goal for all of us: stability, to keep the country and its economy on its feet, to continue without interruption the financing of the country by its lenders." His boss - Prime Minister George Papandreou is trying to close in the ranks of their own party after defectors bolted on Thursday over his five-year austerity plan, a plan needed to get financial help from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. SOUNDBITE: GREEK PRIME MINISTER GEORGE PAPANDREOU (GREEK WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION) SAYING: "We have before us a difficult negotiation, these next days are critical, because the handling of our country's crisis in the European Union had some not-so-correct calculations. The crisis has now spread and the right solution for our country will be the right solution for Europe." But political rebellion in Athens makes currents efforts at a solution, already blocked by conservatives, even that much harder. Papandreou, however, vowed to fill deserted spots and press ahead with the task at hand. SOUNDBITE: GREEK PRIME MINISTER GEORGE PAPANDREOU (GREEK WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION) SAYING: "The changes have been painful, but the sooner we make them, the sooner we can get out of the crisis and the sooner we will be able to concentrate on our strengths. What we don't have is the luxury of desertion. This is the time for battle, and in this fight, I and my deputies will be present and we will give this fight." Papandreou and his team are fighting on many fronts, but appear to be losing on a key battleground with their constituents. Conway Gittens, Reuters