November 3, 2011 by staff
Papandreou offered to hold talks with the opposition to seek consensus on the agreement, adding that the referendum was never an end in itself.
Four ministers, including influential Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos, opposed the referendum and called on Prime Minister to resign.
EU leaders say that Greece can not get cash for ransom until he accepts the offer.
Early in the BBC reported that the Prime Minister was preparing to resign, but state television said it had ruled out this possibility.
The opposition party New Democracy has said he would agree to participate in a coalition government if Mr. Papandreou agreed to withdraw.
BBC Mark Lowen, in Athens, says that whatever the result, Greece has launched a period of intense political instability.
The rescue of the EU, agreed last month, would give the highly indebted Greek government to EUR 130 billion (£ 111bn and 178bn) and a 50% repayment of debt, in exchange for unpopular austerity measures.
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