Athens: Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou survived on Saturday a crucial parliamentary confidence vote, a news daily reported. A total of 153 lawmakers, including all MPs from Papandreou's parliamentary faction and one former faction member, backed the government.

Out of 298 MPs who took part in Saturday's vote, 145 voted to dissolve Papandreou's Cabinet.

Ahead of the vote, Papandreou had promised to form a broad coalition government with the opposition if the Parliament supported him.

“I will begin talks with the parties to create a coalition, which will be widely accepted,” Papandreou told lawmakers.

He also said he was ready to discuss the candidacy for the Prime Minister's post in the new government.

The opposition, however, rejected the proposal and called for early elections, which Papandreou said would be 'catastrophic' for the country.

Papandreou had rejected the opposition's demand to hold snap elections, saying it would be impossible to implement a new loan agreement with the European Union before the elections.

Eurozone leaders approved a new 130-billion-euro bailout package for Greece on October 26.

Papandreou's decision to hold a referendum on the new rescue package, which requires the Greek government to implement new tough austerity measures, sparked strong criticism from European leaders, forcing the Prime Minister to drop his plans on Thursday.

(Agencies)