Greece’s ruling coalition will hold a confidence vote in parliament this evening in an effort to end speculation that the country may be facing snap elections early next year.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras wants to use the vote to gain support for his candidate in a presidential vote. Under Greek law, parliament must be dissolved if a president cannot be elected. The radical leftist Syriza, which has a sizeable lead in opinion polls, has pledged to block Samaras’s pick.
Athens has begun talks with the EU and IMF inspectors on life after its bailout. The coalition is hoping an exit will rally Greeks fed up with years of austerity, but it faces a series of hurdles in pulling that off, including convincing EU/IMF lenders it can finance itself without problems.
Many euro zone policymakers are in Washington for the G20/IMF meetings and after a couple of years lull, they are back in the spotlight after a dreadful run of German data has raised alarm about a new recession.
Having met in Australia only three weeks ago, the script is unlikely to change much: Most of the western world will urge Europe to do more to foster growth and Germany will warn against letting up on austerity.