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Greek PM softens referendum stance

Thursday, November 03, 2011 - 01:34

Nov. 3 - Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has backed away from a proposed referendum on staying in the euro, which raised fears of a disorderly default. Kirsty Basset reports.

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Back home and facing the music - Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou addresses parliament. He's backed away from his calls for a referendum on the country's bailout package. He's says it may not be necessary if the opposition agrees to back the deal in parliament. It comes as France and Germany have said that saving the euro is more important to them than saving Greece. Earlier, Greek MPs met for an emergency cabinet meeting amid talk the government was on the verge of collapse. A minister who took part in the meeting said Prime Minister George Papandreou has no plans to resign, as he awaited the outcome of talks with the opposition. Another MP urged caution. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) CIVIL PROTECTION MINISTER CHRISTOS PAPOUTSIS, SAYING: "These are crucial hours for Greece. It is vital to keep calm and act responsibly." But on the streets of Athens and elsewhere, there are growing calls for Papandreou to stand down. (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) CIVIL SERVANT VASILIS YIAKOUMIS, SAYING: "He should resign. This situation cannot go on anymore. He has lost all trustworthiness, whether for political issues or for any other issue. Greece is sinking, it is a ship that is sinking and there is no captain. Nothing is working." Papandreou will himself be the subject of a confidence vote on Friday. Kirsty Basset, Reuters.

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Greek PM softens referendum stance

Thursday, November 03, 2011 - 01:34