ATHENS — Greece’s new three-party coalition government won a vote of confidence in Parliament on Monday, ending a period of uncertainty that led to two elections in less than two months, though the country has a long way to go to emerge from a deep recession and pay down its huge debt.
There were no surprises in the vote. All 179 deputies of the three parties supporting the government — conservative New Democracy, the socialist PASOK, and the moderate leftist Democratic Left — voted in favor. Voting against were the 121 deputies of the Radical Left Coalition (Syriza), the nationalist right Independent Greeks, the extreme right Golden Dawn, and the Communist Party.
In his concluding speech just before the vote, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said that, despite their diverse political backgrounds, the three coalition partners have a unity of purpose — to keep the country in the eurozone and out of its deepest and longest recession, now in its fifth year.
In the third quarter, the country’s GDP had its sharpest drop yet, declining 9.1 percent compared with the same period in 2011. Greece’s battered economy is forecast to shrink 6.7 percent for the whole year, far above earlier official forecasts of a 4.5 percent shrinkage.