Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou faces a confidence votein his government today that may determine whether Greece becomesthe first euro-area country to default.

Tonight's vote caps a week of turmoil for Papandreou, who fendedoff a revolt from the ranks of his ruling socialist Pasok party inparliament last week. That came after opposition parties rejectedhis call for a national unity government. European Union leadershave insisted Papandreou secure multi-party support for austeritymeasures that are a condition of the aid needed to avoid default assoon as next month. A vote on the fiscal plan is due next week.

“Pasok now knows it has to close ranks,” said Holger Schmieding,chief economist at Joh. Berenberg Gossler & Co. in London. “Thesituation is volatile. A negative vote by the Greek parliamentcould trigger a serious crisis in Europe.”

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