Athens: The newly sworn coalition government of Greece won a vote of confidence in parliament early Monday, taking on its shoulders the tough onus of steering the debt-ridden country through the crisis.
The three party coalition government led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was backed by all 179 deputies of the three parties constituting the government - conservative New Democracy, the socialist PASOK and the moderate leftist Democratic Left.
121 deputies of the Radical Left Coalition (Syriza), the nationalist right Independent Greeks, the extreme right Golden Dawn and the Communist Party, voted against the government.
With the win, that is mainly symbolic, the new government now faces a herculean task to salvage the country through the debt crisis so that it stays in eorozone.
PM Antonio Samaras accused Syriza of trying to discourage reforms, wanting to lead Greece out of the euro.
He specifically accused Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras for warning prospective investors, politicians and civil servants that agreeing to and implementing privatizations might lead to investors losing their money and civil servants and politicians to jail.
"You are trying to intimidate us into doing nothing...you play the same game as those who want to push Greece out of the euro," Samaras said. "Look, Mr. Tsipras. You better drop your threats."
The coalition partners have vowed to try to convince Greece`s lenders — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — to extend by up to three years the period of "fiscal adjustment" Greece must undergo to start producing budget surpluses and to ease the terms of the bailout deals. But they know this will be no easy task.
The government has pledged to fulfil commitments made to the European Union and the International Monetary Fund but to seek a break from austerity from the creditors at new talks with them.
With Agencies Inputs