Merkel congratulates Papandreou on winning vote of confidence

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday congratu-lated Prime Minister George Papandreou on winning a vote of confidence in the Greek Parliament, during a vote held in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
The German government's spokesman Steffen Seibert underlined that Papandreou had greatly contributed to Greece following the only path that promised a lasting solution to the crisis, "one leading to credible and sustainable public finances and a more competitive economy."
He said Merkel had encouraged Papandreou to persist on this path, however onerous and difficult it might be.
Replying to an ANA-MPA question on whether the vote of confidence won by the government fulfilled the political terms for the release of the 5th tranche of EU-IMF bailout loans and a second bailout package for Greece, Seiffert said the vote of confidence was "a necessary first step".
"It is clear that there are specific conditions under which the next tranche can be paid out," he added, listing a new economic policy programme and the participation of private investors in a Greek bailout.
"The Greeks have an ambitious programme that the Parliament will be called upon to vote in the next few days," Seiffert said, noting that all these were "additional steps in this path".

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