Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras wins confidence vote and says 'there is no going back'

His tough stance also has the backing of 75% of Greeks, according to an opinion poll

Greece's new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has comfortably won a confidence vote on his plan to cancel a deeply unpopular bailout programme.

The results raises fears over further instability in Europe, after Tsipras delivered two impassioned speeches, promising Greece would not cave in to demands that it extend its international bailout.

“We are not negotiating the bailout; it was cancelled by its own failure. I want to assure you that there is no going back. Greece cannot return to the era of bailouts,” he said.

His tough stance also has the backing of 75 per cent of Greeks, according to an opinion poll.

The vote puts Greece on a collision course with European policymakers, who have been urging Athens to seek an extension to the programme when it expires at the end of the month.

 

One of Tsipras' fiercest opponents, German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, yesterday said that if Greece did not want a new aid programme, “then that's it”.

Concerns over whether Greece and Europe would be able to reach an agreement kept Asian markets subdued ahead of a crunch meeting of euro zone finance ministers later on Wednesday.

But European markets were largely steady in early trading. The FTSE 100 was off around 0.1% after dropping 6.43 points.

Greek banks shares, however, took another hammering. National Bank of Greece dropped 10%, Bank of Piraeus 6.2% and Alpha Bank 6.3%, while the leading ATG index fell 3.8%.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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