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Re: MORE*: G3/B3 - GREECE - Greece to call referendum on new EU aid deal

Released on 2012-02-29 18:00 GMT

Email-ID 170037
Date 2011-11-01 03:06:32
Well this'll get exciting

On Oct 31, 2011, at 9:01 PM, Michael Wilson

Some clarity from these articles. The referendum won't be until next
year, probably January. But there will be a vote on whether to have the
referendum, this week, on Friday, and it will be tied to a confidence
vote which he is expected to pass with 3 votes

Greek PM gambles on referendum for new debt deal; vote expected early

By Associated Press, Updated: Monday, October 31, 4:39 PM

ATHENS, Greece a** Taking a huge political gamble, Greecea**s prime
minister announced Monday that his debt-strapped country will hold a
referendum on the new European debt deal reached last week a** the first
such vote in 37 years.

Prime Minister George Papandreou appeared to take many lawmakers by
surprise by saying that a hard-bargained agreement that took months for
Europea**s leaders to hammer out will be put to a public ballot.
He gave no date or other details on the proposed referendum, which would
be the first in Greece since 1974, when the monarchy was abolished by a
landslide vote months after the collapse of a military dictatorship.

a**This will be the referendum: The citizen will be called upon to say a
big a**yesa** or a big a**noa** to the new loan arrangement,a**
Papandreou told Socialist members of parliament. a**This is a supreme
act of democracy and of patriotism for the people to make their own
decision ... We have a duty to promote the role and the responsibility
of the citizen.a**
The move allows Socialist lawmakers a** who have been vilified by an
increasingly hostile public during months of strikes, sit-ins and
violent protests over rounds of austerity measures a** to pass the
responsibility for the countrya**s fate to the Greek people themselves.

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, a constitutional law professor,
said the referendum was called after opposition parties repeatedly
failed to side with the government in negotiations between Greece and
other eurozone members.
a**Greece is living through a drama, from which it must be released by
asking the people to express its will,a** Venizelos told parliament.

a**Each citizen will make his own decision, with responsibility, in a
process that will provide a national sense of relief and recovery.a**

Later he told private Antenna television: a**It is very clear: The new
agreement will be submitted to parliament for approval and then
submitted to the judgment of the Greek people ... the Greek people can
of course say a**noa** but must bear in mind the consequences of that
Venizelos indicated the referendum would be held early next year, after
weeks of complex negotiations to finalize details of the new agreement.

The new debt deal aims to seek 50 percent losses for private holders of
Greek bonds and provide the troubled eurozone member with a*NOT100
billion ($140 billion) in additional rescue loans.

Papandreoua**s government has seen its majority reduced to just three
seats in parliament and its approval ratings plummet amid harsh
austerity measures that are sending the country into a fourth year of
recession in 2012.

The EU statistics agency Eurostat estimated in a report issued Monday
that unemployment in Greece reached 17.6 percent in July a** even higher
than the Greek estimate for that month of 16.5 percent.

a**This is just the latest twist in the unfolding Greek tragedy,a** said
Sony Kapoor, managing director of Re-Define, a London-based think tank.

a**With an irresponsible opposition that is promising Greek voters the
moon, it is very difficult to see how this referendum could be won under
the ongoing gut-wrenching austerity.a**

Greece calls referendum on EU bail-out
Last updated: October 31, 2011 10:46 pm
By Kerin Hope in Athens, Peter Spiegel in Brussels and Telis Demos in
New York
Greek Prime Minister George PapandreouGetty

Greecea**s prime minister unexpectedly announced a referendum to approve
a second EU bail-out deal for his austerity-hit country, less than a
week after it was agreed with international creditors at a European
Union summit.

George Papandreou made the pledge on Monday night in a speech to
lawmakers in his fractious PanHellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok) party
but did not set a specific date for the vote.

a**We have faith in our citizens, we believe in their judgment and
therefore in their decision,a** Mr Papandreou said after rejecting a
call for early elections by some socialist politicians. a**All the
countrya**s political forces should support the [bail-out] agreement.
The citizens will do the same once they are fully informed.a**

The premiera**s move reinforced concerns that Greecea**s fraught
domestic politics are spiralling out of control amid growing popular
anger over public sector job cuts and tax increases. Strikes and violent
demonstrations have become frequent in Athens and other cities.

The referendum also looked likely to cause alarm in Brussels, Paris and
Berlin after Mr Papandreoua**s assurances at Wednesdaya**s summit that
Greece was determined to maintain a steady pace of reform.

Thanks to some help from the European Commission, we have a bit more
clarity on where European leaders will be spending the new a*NOT130bn in
Greek bail-out aid

One senior EU official told the Financial Times that Mr Papandreou had
appeared reticent about the components of the bail-out package during
talks at last weeka**s summit of EU presidents and prime ministers but
no one was prepared for the referendum announcement that came a**like a
bolt out of the bluea**.
a**I dona**t think anyone expected this,a** the official said. a**The
calculation has to be this is the only way [Papandreou] believes he can
get this through.a**

a**With an irresponsible opposition that is promising Greek voters the
moon, it is very difficult to see how this referendum could be won,a**
added Sony Kapoor, head of Re-Define, an economic consultancy. a**The
decision is good for democracy but is likely to make the euro crisis
worse by heightening uncertainty in this very fragile environment.a**

The announcement exacerbated declines in the euro and equities, as
investors feared that angry Greek voters could derail the painstakingly
negotiated plan.

The euro fell to a session low of $1.3827, down more than 2 per cent on
the day and erasing its gains from last week, when the deal was first
announced. US stocks accelerated their decline as well, with the S&P 500
index ending the day down 2.5 per cent. It was the indexa**s worst
one-day fall in nearly a month, ending what had been stocksa** best
month since 1991, with a gain of 10.7 per cent, on a sour note.

An opinion poll published on Sunday showed that more than 60 per cent of
Greeks were opposed to the terms of the new bail-out, which would
include another 100,000 job losses over the next three years and big
cuts in pensions.

The vote would probably be held in January, when Greek bondholders were
expected to sign up for a voluntary 50 per cent haircut being negotiated
with the International Institute of Finance, wrapping up the new
bail-out package. One Athens banker said: a**This is a worrying decision
by the prime minister. It could derail the whole process even before
ita**s properly started.a**

The premier also announced that a vote of confidence in his government
would be held this week to endorse the referendum proposal. That vote
would follow a three-day debate on Greecea**s worsening economic and
social problems

Antonis Samaras, the conservative opposition leader, immediately
rejected the proposal, arguing that a referendum was a**not the way

a**The only option is elections and, like Ireland and Portugal, to
request the obviously necessary changes in the bail-out agreement,a** he
added, referring to proposals by leaders of the two other eurozone
member states that are implementing EU-IMF programmes.

Mr Papandreou said this year he might call a referendum on reforms of
Greecea**s political system but ruled out a vote on its relationship
with the eurozone. His sudden reversal came as a shock, according to
party officials. a**This is another upset in a situation that is already
volatile,a** one said.

Greece to Hold Referendum on New Debt Deal
Published: October 31, 2011
ATHENS a** In a surprise move that jolted Europe and put his political
future in play, Prime Minister George A. Papandreou announced Monday
that his government would hold a referendum on a new aid package for
Greece, putting austerity measures a** and potentially membership in the
euro zone a** to a popular vote for the first time.

Analysts said the vote on the austerity package did not immediately
threaten the comprehensive agreement reached by European leaders last
week to shore up the euro zone. More likely, they said, a rejection by
the voters would be treated as a vote of no confidence in the government
and lead to early elections.

But the decision to go ahead with the vote introduces a note of
uncertainty in what had seemed to be a done deal. The anxiety stirred up
by those fears hammered United States financial markets on Monday,
showing once again how the domestic politics of even the smallest
members of the European Union can create troubles that not only threaten
the currency but reverberate around the globe.

Addressing lawmakers on Monday evening, Mr. Papandreou said the decision
on whether to adopt the deal, which includes fresh financial assistance,
debt relief and deeply unpopular austerity measures, properly belonged
to the Greek people.

a**Let us allow the people to have the last word, let them decide on the
countrya**s fate,a** he said.

The move was widely seen as an effort by Mr. Papandreou to shore up his
flagging political fortunes and to avoid the instability of early
elections. The center-right opposition has opposed the bulk of the
austerity program, and the prime ministera**s popular support has
dwindled as Greeks have been hit by a seemingly endless series of tax
increases and wage and pension cuts.

A referendum would in effect shift responsibility for the nationa**s
painful economic choices from Mr. Papandreoua**s Socialist Party onto
the public.

By framing the debate as one of continuing to use the euro or returning
to the drachma, the move also appeared to give the Greek government a
bit more breathing room a** and leverage a** in negotiations with Europe
over the debt deal, proving that a matter that some in Germany had hoped
had been settled last week still had the potential to be reopened.

a**Ita**s not motivated by the intention of some sort of brinkmanship
with Europe, but it may have this sort of positive or negative
effect,a** said George Pagoulatos, a professor of European politics and
economy at the Athens University of Economics and Business. a**It raises
the stakes. Ita**s about, a**Will we remain in the euro with a lower
public debt or will we lose everything that we will achieve?a** a**

At a time when Mr. Papandreou is under intense political and social
pressure, including from members of his own Socialist Party, the move
was seen as the last card he could play.

It was still unclear how the referendum question would be posed, but Mr.
Papandreou said the vote would be on whether Greeks supported the debt
deal and the program of austerity measures in exchange for foreign aid.

The stakes are extremely high. A no vote would not only be likely to
bring down the Greek government, it could break the deal between Greece
and its so-called troika of foreign lenders a** the European Union,
European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund a** which have
demanded structural changes and austerity measures in exchange for aid.

Without the aid, Greece would not be able to meet its expenses and would
default on its debt, and send shockwaves through the euro zone and the
world economy.

Mr. Papandreou also said that he would seek a parliamentary vote of
confidence in his administration, just four months after winning a
similar vote before pushing an earlier batch of austerity measures into
law. The vote of confidence is expected to be held on Friday evening,
and Mr. Papandreou is expected to squeak by with his narrow three-vote
majority in Parliament.
Government officials said the referendum would probably be held in
January, essentially buying the government time while the details of the
debt deal are hammered out.

Addressing lawmakers on Monday evening, Finance Minister Evangelos
Venizelos raised the stakes further by framing the debate as one of
Greece staying in the euro zone a** the group of 17 European Union
countries that use the euro. a**Ita**s for the people to decide to stay
in Europe or go back to the drachma,a** he said.

Takis Michas, a political analyst and the project director of Forum for
Greece, an Athens research institute, said posing the question this way
was a**a master stroke on behalf of Papandreou in the sense it is
forcing the various parties to take a very responsible position.a**

a**If he succeeds in framing the issue as being one of remaining in the
euro zone, obviously he is going to get a huge yes,a** Mr. Michas added.
a**But it depends on whether he can frame the question in those

Under the Greek Constitution, the government must propose the language
of the referendum, which would need to be approved by Parliament and
then by the president.

Some analysts said the referendum was an invitation for instability.
a**People are very discontented with him personally and toward his
economic policy, and in these kinds of circumstances when the debate is
very passionate and things are tense, holding a referendum could be
risky,a** said Alexis Papahelas, the editor of the center-right daily

a**If the referendum fails, obviously everything will be in disarray,a**
he added. a**Probably we will go to elections, but we have a very big
chance that the country would go into a disorderly default.a**

Last Thursday, after European leaders and the International Monetary
Fund had finally reached an accord, Mr. Papandreou had hailed a**a new
day for Europe and for Greece.a** But the deal has proved broadly
unpopular among Greeks, who do not understand how it will translate into
immediate relief.

Papandreou Calls on Greeks to Back EU Debt Accord in Referendum
October 31, 2011, 9:05 PM EDT

Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said voters
will give him support to forge ahead with economic reforms as he pledged
a referendum on the European Uniona**s latest accord on the nationa**s

a**For the new agreement, we must go to a referendum for Greeks to
decide,a** Papandreou told lawmakers of his ruling socialist Pasok party
in statements carried live yesterday from Athens on state-run Vouli TV.
a**Democracy is alive and well and Greeks are being called to rise to a
national duty beyond the regular electoral processes.a**

Papandreoua**s gambit risks pushing the country into default if rejected
by voters, and raises the ante with dissidents inside his own party.
Papandreoua**s popularity has plunged after a raft of austerity measures
cut pensions and wages, increased taxes and sparked a wave of social
unrest. An opinion poll published Oct. 29 showed most Greeks believe the
accord on a new bailout package and a debt writedown is negative.

a**Papandreou could lose the referendum, which means that new elections
would have to be called,a** Thomas Costerg, European economist at
Standard Chartered Bank in London, said in an e-mail. a**Heightened
Greek uncertainty could propagate to other fragile euro-area countries,
in particular Italy.a**

Most of the 1,009 people surveyed on Oct. 27, the day the agreement was
announced, said the accord should be put to a referendum, according to
the results of the Kapa Research SA poll, published in To Vima
newspaper. Forty-six percent said theya**d oppose the plan at such a
referendum. In the same poll, more than seven in 10 favored Greece
remaining in the euro.

Confidence Vote

Papandreou also told lawmakers hea**ll seek a vote of confidence in
parliament. The referendum will likely be held after details of the EU
accord are wound up, Papandreou said. The vote of confidence will begin
tomorrow and conclude late on Nov. 4, according to statements yesterday
by House Speaker Filipos Petsalnikos.

EU leaders carved out a second aid package for Greece at a summit in
Brussels lasting into the early hours of Oct. 27, after Papandreou
scraped together parliamentary approval for the second round of
austerity measures in four months. Greece will receive 130 billion euros
($180 billion) in public funds plus a 50 percent writedown on Greek
debt, following a fully taxpayer- funded package of 110 billion euros
extended in May 2010.

Venizelosa**s View

a**I can no longer look at polls where the majority is against the
agreement, the majority is against the program, but a majority is also
in favor of staying in the euro,a** Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos
said on Antenna TV after Papandreou announced his decision. A a**noa**
vote at the referendum would lead to a**developmentsa** that the
government would assess, Venizelos said.

Papandreou, whose term ends in 2013, is seeking renewed support to push
through measures including job cuts to turn around an economy that is
set to shrink 5.5 percent this year. The program involves new taxes and
cuts in spending to plug the EUa**s second-biggest budget gap.

The state budget deficit widened to 19.2 billion euros in the January to
end-September period from 16.7 billion euros a year earlier, according
to an e-mailed statement from the Athens-based Finance Ministry

Opposition parties repeated their call for elections. Papandreoua**s
plans are a**recklessa** and put Greecea**s EU membership at risk, lead
opposition New Democracy party spokesman Yiannis Michelakis said.


Papandreou a**has tossed Greecea**s future in Europe in the air like a
coin,a** Michelakis said in an e-mailed statement from NDa**s Athens
offices yesterday. a**He is dangerous and must go. There is a solution:
elections now. Ita**s the safest a**referendum.a**a**

Papandreou now has just a three-seat majority in parliament and won
approval for his latest austerity package amid protests that left one
person dead. The budget measures prompted a near- rebellion in
Papandreoua**s party and violence in the streets.

The New Democracy party, led by Antonis Samaras, would win 22 percent of
the vote in elections, with Papandreoua**s Pasok party receiving 14.7
percent, and neither getting enough to form a majority in Parliament,
according to the Kapa poll. More than 26 percent of voters said they
were undecided on who to back. The margin of error is 3.09 percentage

Separately, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association said
that the euro-area proposals for Greek bonds appear to involve a**a
voluntary exchange that would not be binding on all holders,a**
according to an e-mailed statement.

a**As such, it does not appear to be likely that the euro zone proposal
will trigger payments under existing CDS contracts,a** the statement
said. a**However, whether or not it does so will be decided by the
Determinations Committee on the basis of specific facts, if a request is
made to them.a**

The ISDA statement late yesterday follows a review of whether the
proposal would constitute a a**credit eventa** for holders of
credit-default swaps linked to the securities.

--With assistance from Jennifer Ryan in London and Antonis Galanopoulos
in Athens. Editors: Digby Lidstone, Craig Stirling, Kevin Costelloe

To contact the reporters responsible for this story: Maria Petrakis in
Athens at; Natalie Weeks in Athens at; Marcus Bensasson in Athens at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tim Quinson at

Greek PM calls referendum on new EU aid deal
By Dina Kyriakidou and Harry Papachristou

ATHENS | Mon Oct 31, 2011 6:50pm EDT

(Reuters) - Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou called an unexpected
referendum on Monday on the EU bailout deal for his debt-ridden country,
a move that could necessitate a snap election if a public angry with
swinging austerity measures rejects the deal.

Pressured by his own lawmakers to share the heavy political burden of
belt-tightening with other parties, Papandreou said he needed wider
political support for the fiscal measures and structural reforms
required by international lenders.

"We trust citizens, we believe in their judgment, we believe in their
decision," he told ruling Socialist party deputies. "In a few weeks the
(EU) agreement will be a new loan contract... we must spell out if we
are accepting it or if we are rejecting it."

Analysts said holding a referendum was a baffling decision, given that
the latest survey showed a majority of Greeks taking a negative view of
the bailout deal.

Opposition parties reacted angrily, accusing Papandreou of looking for a
way out for his embattled party by dragging Greece, which has seen
violent clashes between protesters and riot police, through a lengthy
period of political instability.

The euro extended losses against the dollar after the announcement,
tumbling more than 2 percent to a session low.

Papandreou, grappling with Greece's worst financial crisis in 40 years,
had discussed holding a referendum but many people were shocked at the
prospect of weary, disgruntled citizens being asked to decide whether to
accept or reject the bailout.

"Mr. Papandreou is dangerous, he tosses Greece's EU membership like a
coin in the air," said conservative opposition New Democracy party
spokesman Yannis Michelakis. "He cannot govern and instead of
withdrawing honorably, he dynamites everything."

New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras will visit President Karolos
Papoulias on Tuesday to discuss developments and push for snap
elections, party officials said.

Weekend polls showed most Greeks took a negative view of the decision by
euro zone leaders last week to hand cashed-strapped Athens a second,
130-billion-euro bailout and a 50-percent write-down on its enormous
debt to make it sustainable.

"I never expected Papandreou to take such a dangerous and frivolous
decision," said Dora Bakoyanni, former foreign minister and leader of
the small center-right Democratic Alliance party. "Tomorrow all the
international media will say that Greece itself is putting the EU deal
at risk."

Germany issued a statement saying the EU was working hard to put the
second Greek aid package in place by the end of the year and had no
comment on the referendum. EU leaders hammered out the deal last week,
fearing the Greek debt crisis would speed to other euro zone countries
and shake global markets.

"If there was to be a referendum, we may reasonably conclude that they
may not accept the austerity measures. We may conclude that it will
bring the pack of cards tumbling down," said Howard Wheeldon, senior
strategist at BGC Partners in London.

Papandreou also said he would ask for a vote of confidence to secure
support for his policy for the rest of his four-year term, which expires
in 2013.

Analysts said he was likely to win that, despite dissent among his
parliamentary team. He was forced to expel a senior party member for
voting against part of his latest austerity package and others warned
him it was the last time they would vote for measures they did not
believe in.

Parliament officials said the confidence debate would begin on
Wednesday, with a vote on Thursday or Friday.


Papandreou said the referendum would ask Greeks whether or not they
agreed to the deal and would take place in a few weeks. Finance Minister
Evangelos Venizelos told Greek TV it would probably be held early next

But parliamentarians questioned its legality under the constitution,
which does not allow referendums on economic issues, only on matters of
great national importance.

The last time Greeks held a referendum was in December 1974, when they
voted to abolish the monarchy shortly after the collapse of a military

"It's debatable whether the constitution allows such a referendum," said
Fotis Kouvelis, leader of the small Democratic Left party. "The country
must go to early elections. Given the situation, it's the most honorable

For a referendum result to be binding, there must be a minimum 40
percent turnout on issues of "crucial national importance" and 50
percent on a law that has already been voted on in parliament and
"regulates a serious social issue," according to legislation enacted
earlier this year. It was not clear which option the government would

"If the referendum answer is no, Papandreou has to resign," said Costas
Panagopoulos, an analyst at polling firm Alco.

"In the meantime what will happen with the decisions the EU took last
week? I cannot understand what the prime minister wants to do. It could
be the only way he has to leave the government, to share

Nearly 60 percent of Greeks view Thursday's EU summit agreement on the
new bailout package as negative or probably negative, a survey showed on

Several lawmakers have defected from Papandreou's Socialist party over
the packages of austerity measures enacted to qualify for bailout
payments under last year's aid agreement, and the party trails in
opinion polls.

New Democracy is rising fast in opinion polls, but no party would win
outright if polls were held now, leading to coalition governments or
repeated elections.

"The prime minister is obviously stuck in a dead end and he is leading
the country down a very dangerous slope," said far right LAOS party MP
Makis Voridis.

Greek Vote Threatens Bailout
Premier Calls for Surprise Referendum Days After European Leaders OK Aid

NOVEMBER 1, 2011

ATHENSa**Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou stunned Europe by
announcing a referendum on his country's latest bailouta**a high-stakes
gamble that could undermine the international effort to preserve the

A "yes" vote in the referendum could deflate the massive street protests
and strikes that threaten to paralyze Greece as it tries to enact a
brutal austerity program to earn rescue loans from the euro zone and the
International Monetary Fund.

A "no" vote, however, could bring down the government and cut off
international funding for Greece, leaving the country facing a financial
meltdown. The government expects to hold the referendum in January.

Some Greek government officials believe a defeat in the referendum could
propel their country out of the euro zone. Many European policy makers
fear that a messy Greek default could spark a financial-market panic
that would particularly affect Italy, a major European economy that's
already struggling to retain investors' trust.

Mr. Papandreou's dramatic announcement, which he delivered late Monday
in a speech to lawmakers, renders the outcome of Europe's debt crisis
more uncertain than ever. It comes less than a week after euro-zone
leaders agreed on a "comprehensive package" of measures to keep Greece
afloat, reassure financial markets and stabilize the region. That
agreement was supposed to ensure that Athens avoids a unilateral debt
default, restructures its debts in cooperation with bondholders, and
cuts its budget deficit further in return for a a*NOT130 billion ($180
billion) bailout.

With the fate of the deal in the lap of Greek voters, the euro crisis is
likely to dominate this week's summit of the Group of 20 leading global
economies in Cannes, France. For months, the U.S. government has been
pressing Europe to resolve the two-year-old Greek debt crisis, which is
undermining investor confidence in ever-growing swaths of the euro
currency zone. The lingering uncertainty, in turn, has hurt confidence
in global financial markets, and the looming referendum will only
accentuate that.

The announcement in Athens roiled financial markets late Monday, pushing
the euro down 2.1% against the dollar to $1.3859, the European
currency's biggest one-day slide in six months. Already-weak U.S. stocks
sank further into the red. The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its
worst daily decline in a month, falling 276.10 points, or 2.26%, to
11955.01. "Maybe the [Greek bailout] deal is in jeopardy," said Stephen
Leuer, a floor trader at X-FA trading. "Any sort of doubt is definitely
going to set us back," he said, adding that U.S. markets are "very
sensitive" to news from Europe at present.

Greece's embattled leader decided to go for a referendum as a way of
shoring up support for the drastic government spending cuts and tax
hikes that his country's parlous finances have forced him to enact,
Greek officials say.

Mr. Papandreou, who inherited a fiscal mess after winning election in
2009 as head of a Socialist administration, has had to slash Greeks'
cherished welfare entitlements to please the country's international
creditors, in the face of opposition from labor unions and parts of his
own party.

Prime Minister George Papandreou announces a referendum on a debt deal.

The mild-mannered, U.S.-born premier floated the idea of a referendum
earlier this year as public hostility to austerity mounted, but he
backed off amid fears that such a move would be destabilizing for Greece
and for Europe.

In recent weeks, however, public and parliamentary patience with
austerity and an ever-deepening recession has stretched thin, weakening
Mr. Papandreou's authority.

The government needs a stronger democratic mandate to implement last
week's bailout agreement with Europe and the IMF, Mr. Papandreou told a
stunned audience of Socialist lawmakers on Monday. For that, he said,
"we need to go to a referendum."

The question put to voters will be simple, he said: "Do we want to adopt
the new agreement? Or do we want to reject it?" The popular verdict
would be binding, he added. "If the Greek people do not want it to be
implemented, very simply it won't be implemented."

What would happen next is anything but clear. A binding voter rejection
of Europe's terms for a bailout would leave euro-zone leaders such as
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy
with a bitter choice. Either they let Greece default on its a*NOT355
billion of public debt, risking panic throughout Europe's
government-bond markets and banking sectors; or they cave in and offer
Greece more generous bailout terms.

Relaxing Greece's bailout terms would anger voters in Germany and other
countries who are already resentful of having to subsidize Greece, a
country that is widely viewed in Europe as having lived beyond its means
for years. It could also prompt other recipients of rescue
loansa**Ireland and Portugala**to demand similarly generous treatment.
That, in turn, would test both the political tolerance and the financial
wherewithal of Europe's core economies to support weaker euro nations.

A Greek referendum on its bailout, for the first time in the two-year
crisis, would put what many Greeks view as draconian spending cuts
demanded by Athens' international creditors to a democratic test. The
result of the vote could reverberate around the euro zone, putting
pressure on governments in other European countries that are enacting
austerity measures to stem the debt crisis to ask for their voters'

Opinion polls suggest Mr. Papandreou faces a struggle to convince an
increasingly angry electorate. A survey published at the weekend showed
that 58.9% of Greeks oppose last week's European deal; there are fears
that the planned debt restructuring will bring further pain while
yielding few benefits for the country.

The poll, the first since last week's bailout deal was struck, showed
that some 54.2% of Greeks thought a national referendum should be called
to approve the new aid deal, while only 40% thought Parliament should

However, Mr. Papandreou is betting that voters may approve the bailout
package if they are forced to confront the alternative of national
bankruptcy and a possible exit from the euro.

Some Greek officials say the referendum question could be worded in such
a way that voters see it as a matter of Greece's continued euro
membership. The recent opinion poll showed 72.5% of Greeks want to stay
in the euro zone. "The actual meaning of the referendum is a choice
between the euro and the drachma," the traditional Greek currency, a
senior Socialist official said.

In a bid to shore up flagging support within his own party, Mr.
Papandreou also called for a fresh vote of confidence in his
governmenta**just months after narrowly winning such a vote in June.

On 10/31/11 2:22 PM, Michael Wilson wrote:

vote of confidence and the referendum are two separate things, not
attached. He has already employed the vote of confidence before and
presumably could get it again. This is why it was so important last
week or so when the MP resigned both party and seat so PASOK could put
someone in who was indebted to the party

The referendum is what im not sure he could win. Also will be
interesting to see which comes first

On 10/31/11 2:15 PM, Kristen Cooper wrote:

Well, if it has a confidence vote attached to it and fails,
Papandreou wouldn't necessarily be the one the EU is negotiating
with. There are a couple different aspects here, but I don't think
this was a move to negotiate a better deal with the EU. This is as
about as good as deal as they could possibly hope for.

I think with a referendum, he's essentially calling the public out -
"Look, this is the deal I got. Take it or leave it." If its
approved, then you undermine the legitimacy of the people striking
and protesting over the deal. If if it fails - along with an
attached confidence vote - fails, then that means somebody else has
to come up with a concrete alternative to the plan - which no one
has credibly come forth with yet.

On 10/31/11 2:45 PM, Michael Wilson wrote:

Remember that in September there were reports (subsequently
denied) that they would hold a referendum on the Euro. This is
just a referendum on the new EU aid deal, but I imagine will serve
a similar political role

If it gets approved he has legitimacy. If it doesnt he can better
negotiate with EU I guess. Scary to think what happens if its not

Greece says not considering referendum on euro

ATHENS, Sept 20 | Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:41am EDT

(Reuters) - Greece denied a report on Tuesday that it was
considering holding a referendum on the country's membership in
the euro zone.

Kathimerini daily wrote on Tuesday, citing unnamed sources, that
Prime Minister George Papandreou was considering calling for a
referendum on whether Greece should continue to tackle its debt
crisis within the euro zone or by exiting the single currency.

The government has long said it was planning a referendum on
political reforms but has repeatedly denied that it would concern
the country's euro membership.

Asked if the referendum would be about staying in the euro zone,
deputy government spokesman Angelos Tolkas said: "No. We haven't
discussed such an issue, definitely not."

He said the government had put to parliament on Monday a bill
aimed at allowing the country to hold referenda but without
specifying any issue.

"Yesterday we tabled a bill about referenda ... but we have not
discussed anything more than holding a referendum." (Reporting by
Angeliki Koutantou; writing by Ingrid Melander; editing by Michael

Greece may hold referendum on euro zone membership: report
Mon Sep 19, 2011 8:57pm EDT

(Reuters) - Greece may hold a voter referendum on euro zone
membership as a way to strengthen the government's hand in dealing
with the debt crisis within the euro zone or by exiting the single
currency, the Kathimerini English language newspaper reported on
its website on Tuesday.

Prime Minister George Papandreou is considering calling for the
referendum as pressure has mounted from all sides with Greece's
foreign creditors pushing for quicker budget cuts, while
large-scale citizen street protests against austerity are held
almost daily, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources.

A bill to be submitted in parliament, paving the way for a
referendum, is to be discussed in the coming days, the newspaper

For the newspaper website, see:

Papandreou had earlier resisted any referendum, but now thinks
such a vote could bring a fresh mandate for his Socialist
government to continue with an austerity drive backed by Greece's
international lenders, the newspaper said.

The cabinet is reportedly split, with several ministers calling
for drastic action including early elections at an emergency
meeting on Sunday, the newspaper said, while others want to avoid
a referendum or new polls.

(Writing by Ed Layne in Singapore; Editing by Yoko Nishikawa)

On 10/31/11 1:34 PM, Marc Lanthemann wrote:

Greece to hold referendum on new debt deal

(AP) a** 10 minutes ago
ATHENS, Greece (AP) a** Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou
says his country will hold a referendum on a new European debt
deal reached last week.

Papandreou gave no date on other details of proposed referendum
on the deal that aims to seek 50 percent losses for private
holders of Greek bonds and provide the troubled eurozone member
with euro100 billion ($140 billion) in additional rescue loans.

Papandreou, addressing Socialist members of parliament Monday,
also said he would seek a vote of confidence in parliament.

His Socialist government has seen its majority reduced to just
three seats in parliament and its approval ratings plummet amid
harsh austerity measures that are likely to send the country
into a fourth year of recession in 2012.

Papandreou calls for referendum in Greece
Mon, Oct 31 2011, 18:18 GMT | (CA^3rdoba) a** The Prime Minister of Greece,
George Papandreou called for a referendum to ask whether to
accept the new bailout or not. He said he will call for a vote
of confidence and rejected elections.

It was reported also that the PM mentioned that the government
may need to nationalize some banks in order to recapitalized
them. After a period of time the banks would be privatized.

Papandreou Says EU Decisions Will Relieve Greece of Debt Burden
October 31, 2011, 1:43 PM EDT

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou
said the country had secured a a**historic decisiona** at last
weeka**s summit of European Union leaders that will allow Greece
to a**look to our futurea** with less uncertainty.

a**The EU summit decisions open up a new era for Europe and a
new era for Greece,a** Papandreou said in comments to ruling
party lawmakers in Athens televised on state-run Vouli TV today.
The decisions taken by EU leaders early on Oct. 27 will reduce
Greecea**s debt by about 100 billion euros, Papandreou said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marcus Bensasson in
Athens at

Papandreou Says Greek Elections to be Held in 2013 as Scheduled
October 31, 2011, 1:55 PM EDT

Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou
said his government faced a challenge to exploit the window of
opportunity provided by the decisions taken last week by
European Union leaders on a second financing package for the

Papandreou said the priority was to a**lock ina** the decisions
of the summit. He said elections would be held as scheduled in
2013. He spoke in Athens in comments televised live on state-run
Vouli TV.

On 10/31/11 1:22 PM, Marc Lanthemann wrote:

Greece to call referendum on new EU aid deal

ATHENS | Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:09pm EDT
(Reuters) - The Greek government will hold a referendum on a
new EU aid package, calling on voters to say whether they want
to adopt it or not, Prime Minister George Papandreou said on

"We trust citizens, we believe in their judgment, we believe
in their decision," he told ruling socialist party lawmakers.

Nearly 60 percent of Greeks view Thursday's EU summit
agreement on a new 130 billion euro bailout package as
negative or probably negative, a survey showed on Saturday.

Marc Lanthemann
Watch Officer
+1 609-865-5782

Marc Lanthemann
Watch Officer
+1 609-865-5782

Michael Wilson
Director of Watch Officer Group
221 W. 6th Street, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78701
T: +1 512 744 4300 ex 4112

Michael Wilson
Director of Watch Officer Group
221 W. 6th Street, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78701
T: +1 512 744 4300 ex 4112

Michael Wilson
Director of Watch Officer Group
221 W. 6th Street, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78701
T: +1 512 744 4300 ex 4112