Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras sits at the Greek parliament in Athens
The coalition government of Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras won a largely symbolic confidence vote on Sunday, picking up a comfortable mandate to tackle the country\'s two-year-old crisis.
At 2135 GMT, more than half of Greek parliament\'s 300 deputies had voted to back conservative Samaras\'s centrist coalition, which has promised voters a break from austerity while still meeting commitments made to EU-IMF creditors.
\"You have followed the decisions of a three-party government that wants to proceed with reforms and change the country needs,\" Samaras told deputies minutes before the vote.
The vote\'s outcome did not come as a surprise: Samaras\'s New Democracy party leads a coalition of 179 seats with the socialist PASOK party and the much smaller Democratic Left.
In a speech on Friday outlining the government\'s policy, Samaras had insisted that Greece would push through delayed reforms.
But he said he would also request a break from the terms of the European Union-International Monetary Fund bailout to ease the burden on a country fed up with austerity.
Since the election, coalition members have expressed their desire to delay the demands of the second 130-billion-euro ($160-billion) bailout agreed with creditors from the EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank.
The parliamentary session came as auditors from the EU and IMF continue to probe Greece\'s finances. Their conclusions, expected later this month, will help lenders decide whether to proceed with Greece\'s current loan programme.