Greek prime minister George Papandreou has (just) won a confidence vote this evening, scraping through with a 153-146 victory. Still, a win is a win and Papandreou will be hoping that the result puts to an end rumours that his premiership is heading for an abrupt and imminent end.
It has been a bad week for Papandreou, who first mooted the idea of a referendum regarding Greek’s economic prospects and then backed down in the face of enormous pressure from the rest of Europe. The Greek economy remains in a terrible state, and the latest bailout deal is by no means guaranteed to be the end of the story.
Papandreou’s victory tonight has already been dismissed by some of his key rivals, who insist that a general election must be called immediately. However, such an election would inevitably become a referendum on Greece’s economic problems, so it’s somewhat surprising that many of those who are opposed to an actual referendum are calling for a general election.