Following are highlights of a speech by Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou to members of parliament from his Socialist party on Thursday:

"A wider consensus is something we have sought repeatedly but unsuccessfully."

"If we don't fulfill our obligations then our euro membership will be at stake... Rejecting the package is something that would mean for our (euro zone) partners the beginning of our exit from the euro zone."

"We would never choose to hold a referendum on whether we leave or stay in the euro. It's not something you can ask the Greek people about. It is self-evident (that they want to stay)."

"I trust the wisdom and the maturity of the Greek people and I trust them ... I'm not saying this romantically, I deeply believe in democracy."

"The referendum could form common alliances for the interest of the people."

"Our partners recognize our right to call a referendum or elections or anything else."

"We are bearing a cross and on top of that, they are throwing stones at us."

"We had three alternatives - the first, a catastrophic one, was to call early elections....the other alternative was the referendum...and the third solution was to achieve a wider consensus."

"Apart from the tone and the content of our (euro zone) partners... when they told us how to conduct our referendum, we were very clear it was a decision of a sovereign government. We may be under economic supervision but democratic institutions are ours."

"Why did the referendum create a surprise? Other government members and I had said that what was at stake was our membership in the euro. When we were saying this, they were calling us blackmailers. Yesterday there was confirmation of all that we were saying."