This was a big deal because it sets the stage for an interim government that presumably will sign off on the all-important bailout package. It was close: An AP count showed that George Papandreou won with 153 votes in the 300-member Parliament. From the WSJ:
Greek lawmakers sparred late into the night Friday ahead of a vote of confidence in the 59-year-old Mr. Papandreou, which he survived. He was expected to offer his resignation in order to form an interim government that would seek to stabilize a debt-laden, depressed economy whose deterioration has undermined investor confidence in the euro zone's finances.
Without approval of the bailout, Greece will likely default on its massive debt and create all kinds of havoc in international markets. Not that the road ahead will be easy:
The challenges facing any successor government are immense, and its room for maneuver is limited. In the next few weeks, Greece must approve its second international bailout deal, secure a promised €8 billion ($11 billion) aid tranche under its first bailout program, pass a stringent 2012 budget and negotiate a deal with its private-sector bondholders to halve the amount that it owes them.