Nov. 04 - Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou faces a nail biting parliamentary confidence vote, as expectations grow that a controversial referendum which sparked the upheaval, will be dumped. Kirsty Basset reports.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL It's decision day for Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, who faces a cliff-hanger confidence vote in parliament late Friday. Whatever the outcome, his days as leader look numbered as government sources say he's agreed to stand down, even if his socialist government survives. The political upheaval was triggered after Papandreou announced a referendum on a rescue package agreed just days ago, angering European leaders and sending global markets into a panic. The euro steadied on Friday morning, on expectations that Greece will abandon the referendum - but investors remain cautious. Oliver Roth is a trader at Close Brothers Seydler Bank. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TRADER AT CLOSE BROTHERS SEYDLER BANK, OLIVER ROTH, SAYING: "The market is in such a good condition, because the optimism is back after this rumble in the jungle of Mister Papandreou. So we are just focused on the implementation of the decisions in Brussels. If we see them then we are quite confident that we will see within the next couple of weeks a rising stock exchange." In Athens, Greek financial analyst Nikos Christodolou says markets there will remain volatile as long as there is political instability. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) FINANCIAL ANALYST NIKOS CHRISTODOULOU, SAYING: "The markets want a strong government in Greece, whether it is formed through a coalition or a single party. If there are signs that a newly elected government is not strong, this could have a significant negative impact on the Greek markets. However, a strong government, again whether it is formed through a coalition or a single party, will be good for the markets." Greeks are also awaiting the results of the confidence vote. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) VASSILIS, PENSIONER SAYING: "I have no idea what will happen, things are so bad, they are such a mess, that anything can happen. Anything can happen." At most, Papandreou can count on the support of 151 deputies in the 300 member Greek parliament. If one more MP defects, the government will be stripped of its majority and probably trigger early elections. Sources have told Reuters Papandreou has admitted it was a mistake to call for a referendum on the bailout. Kirsty Basset, Reuters.