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Greek Cabinet Green Lights Referendum Plan

Vote could happen as soon as December
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2011 7:23 AM CDT
Updated Nov 2, 2011 7:55 AM CDT

(Newser) – After a seven-hour meeting, Greece’s Cabinet voted unanimously last night to endorse PM George Papandreou’s surprise call for a national referendum on Europe’s bailout plan for the country. The vote “will take place as soon as possible, right after the basics of the bailout deal are formulated,” a government spokesman said, according to the BBC. Earlier, the interior minister said that could be “within December.”

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“There is no chance (the referendum) won’t happen,” one senior official told the Wall Street Journal. “What people say today is different from how they will vote later." Yesterday’s move by the Cabinet was designed to bolster Papandreou as he faces a revolt in his own party ahead of a confidence vote Friday. But even if Papandreou survives, analysts are expecting Greece to hold early elections within months—which would likely lead to a center-right government led by Antonin Samaras, who wants to scrap austerity plans and cut taxes. (Read more Greece stories.)

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