ATHENS - Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou faces a knife-edge confidence vote on Friday after his plan for a referendum on a bailout - supposed to save both Greece and the euro zone from disaster - backfired spectacularly.
But even if his socialist government survives the parliamentary vote, Papandreou's days as Greek leader looked numbered after a deal with his cabinet under which, government sources said, he agreed to stand down after negotiating a coalition with the conservative opposition.
Much of Greece and many European leaders reacted with horror after Papandreou abruptly announced on Monday that he would put the 130-billion-euro ($180-billion) rescue plan, agreed at a euro zone summit only last week, to the Greek people.
Papandreou came out fighting, rejecting opposition demands, in public at least, that he make way for a caretaker administration with just two tasks: forcing the bailout through parliament without a referendum and calling a snap election.
However, analysts said Papandreou may not be around much longer to fight such battles.