Greek leaders told a growing band of lawmakers on Saturday (February 11) that if they persist in their threats to vote against a severely unpopular EU/IMF rescue in Parliament, it could put into motion the financial downfall of Greece.
Conservative leader Antonis Samaras, who has attacked austerity policies for driving Greece ever deeper into recession, still told his party to back the 130 billion euro deal or be dropped as candidates in the next general election.
As a 48-hour strike by two unions commanding one million members continues to shut down all mass-transit services in the capital, and as voters continue to take to the streets, thinking their noise will stop the inevitable, the reality is that Greece has few options but to support the bailout. If they don't, they would default on their loans and potentially be forced out of the euro-zone.
COMMENT: At the moment, at least twenty legislators are threatening to vote against the bailout, yet it would take at least eighty to stop the bailout, which is unlikely, although possible.
Unfortunately, six members of Prime Minister Papademos' cabinet have already resigned over the heavy pay, pension and job cuts which the EU and IMF are demanding to obtain the bailout and avoid a default on debt repayments of 14.5 billion euros that are due on March 20.
The EU/IMF have been exasperated by a series of broken promises and weeks of disagreement over the bailout. They will not release the aid without clear commitments by the main party leaders that the reforms will be implemented, regardless of who wins the next elections.
It is expected that that Parliament will vote on the bailout tomorrow (February 12).