ATHENS, Greece — The Greek government teetered Tuesday after a hard-won European plan to save the Greek economy was suddenly thrown into doubt by the prospect of a public vote.

One day after Prime Minister George Papandreou stunned Europe by calling for a referendum, the ripples reached from Athens, where some of his own lawmakers rebelled, to Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged almost 300 points.

Papandreou convened his ministers Tuesday night and insisted that his decision to call for a referendum on Greece’s place in Europe was right.

“We will not implement any program by force, but only with the consent of the Greek people,” Papandreou said. “This is our democratic tradition and we demand that it is also respected abroad. And I believe it will be respected.”

Papandreou said the Greek people were being called on to determine whether or not they wanted the new deal and to remain in the euro currency used by 17 European Union nations.