Nov 11 - Greece's conservative-led coalition has defeated an opposition-sponsored motion to topple the government. But as Hayley Platt reports one lawmaker was expelled reducing the coalition's majority to just four.
Greek politicians debated the issue until the early hours. The Opposition party Syriza had brought a no confidence motion in the hope of overturning tough austerity measures. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) OPPOSITION PARTY LEADER ALEXIS TSIPRAS SAYING: "You failed to stop economic disaster, you failed to find alternatives to propose to our lenders on the bailout, and most importantly, you failed to face the enormous humanitarian disaster that is looming for millions of our citizens." But in the end the motion to topple the government was rejected by 153 of Greece's 300 MPs. Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) FINANCE MINISTER YANNIS STOURNARAS SAYING: "Whether our programme is failing is a matter for the markets to judge: is that why interest rates have fallen so much in the last year? Is that why the possibility of Greece leaving the euro zone is now zero, whereas not so long ago it was more than 50 percent?" The debate took place during a crucial inspection by representatives from Greece's lenders. The troika team is in Athens checking the country's progress towards meeting bailout targets. Greece needs their approval before it gets the next instalment of a near 6 billion euro loan. There was plenty of public support for the no confidence motion. But investors took the debate in their stride. Adam Cole is from RBC Capital Markets. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADAM COLE, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS, SAYING: "I think unless there is a real realistic prospect of the political concern turning into concern that Greece could go so far as exiting the euro zone then the impact of that on markets is quite limited and I think the risk of that is very, very small. A prospect for Greece would be so much worse outside the euro zone then they are inside that the market puts a very low risk on that." Greece's Prime Minister insists the country is now "moving towards growth." That may be true but its troubles are far from over. One lawmaker was expelled for siding with the opposition, reducing the coalition government's majority to just four. And the troika currently estimates Greece will fall 2 billion euros short of its target. That means the government must come up with new budget measures to fill the gap And many austerity-weary Greeks say they can't take any more.