The Greek Parliament barely passed the austerity package just after midnight Thursday. The vote was closer than analysts predicted with the coalition mustering only 153 yeas from the 300 member chamber.
Assuming that Samaras whipped all of this votes from New Democracy, the numbers imply that six PASOK deputies defected. Four more defections and the legislation would have failed.
There is another vote on Sunday for the entire budget, but it will not be as dramatic. The Democratic Left and its 16 votes support the Prime Minister on this issue.
The government is becoming increasingly unstable, and it is only a matter of time before Syriza mounts a challenge. Better to let your opposition build up as much resentment as possible before swooping in as a savior.