Greece Had a Wacky Day Trying to Figure Out Their Bailout

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Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou gestures as he address the socialist party parliamentary group at the Greek Parliament in Athens on November 3, 2011.  Papandreou said that Greece must accept a hard-fought EU bailout plan, while dismissing calls for early elections. He said he was prepared to drop plans for a referendum on a debt bail-out in the face of opposition from eurozone leaders. His comments came after the main opposition party, New Democracy, agreed to support the EU debt deal proposed last week by other eurozone countries.  AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou gestures as he address the socialist party parliamentary group at the Greek Parliament in Athens on November 3, 2011. Papandreou said that Greece must accept a hard-fought EU bailout plan, while dismissing calls for early elections. He said he was prepared to drop plans for a referendum on a debt bail-out in the face of opposition from eurozone leaders. His comments came after the main opposition party, New Democracy, agreed to support the EU debt deal proposed last week by other eurozone countries. AFP PHOTO / LOUISA GOULIAMAKI (Photo credit should read LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images) Photo: LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/2011 AFP

Early on Thursday, rumors were circulating that Greek prime minister George Papandreou would resign amid debt-deal negotiations, and ahead of a vote of confidence tomorrow that could very possibly take him down anyway. But by the day's end, not only was Papandreou still in charge, but he'd withdrawn his plan to put the loan deal to a referendum and announced that the opposition New Democracy Party has decided to back the bailout after all. Fearing that putting the deal to a public vote could threaten Greece's membership in the European Union, even Papandreou's deputy opposed the move, and so now they'll just put the debt plan to parliament instead. Papandreou may or may not see it all through himself; in a matter of hours, the European political madness starts again with Friday's confidence vote.

Greek Leader Calls Off Referendum on Bailout Plan [NYT]