Greek PM wins confidence

GREECE’S new Prime Minister Lucas Papademos won a large majority in a confidence vote in parliament yesterday, shoring up his support to lead an unelected government of technocrats.

Members of the Greek parliament voted 522 to 38 to support the former ECB official Papademos, who said that his government was taking on a “titanic” challenge.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) gave the go-ahead for Portugal to receive the next €8bn instalment of its €78bn bailout despite warning that Lisbon could overshoot its deficit target by 1.5 per cent of GDP.

Efforts are underway to correct the “slippage”, the IMF said, by transferring bank pension assets into state hands.

The IMF also warned that Portugal’s GDP contraction is expected to be three per cent this year, worse than originally anticipated.