AP - Warning of a "catastrophe" that would leave Greeks subsisting on food stamps and the country wallowing in bankruptcy, Greek leaders urged lawmakers Saturday to pass more painful spending cuts on the eve of a crucial vote to qualify for a massive bailout.
The Greek government is confident parliament will pass an austerity plan next week needed to unlock crucial EU-IMF aid in order to avoid default, a government spokesman said on Saturday."We are totally confident," government spokesman Ilias Mosialos told AFP. Parliament is scheduled to vote on the austerity plan on Wednesday and Thursday."These are extremely crucial votes. We believe lawmakers in parliament's majority will act responsibly," he added.
US President Barack Obama's historic drive to extend health insurance to nearly all Americans faced a crucial House of Representatives vote Saturday, with Democrats predicting victory.A day after Obama and key allies unhesitatingly predicted the sweeping legislation would pass, leading Democratic lawmakers split on whether they had locked down the 216 votes needed but vowed to prevail in the cliffhanger test.