Greek Ministers Quit in Austerity Protest as Workers Take to the Streets

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Update (11:20 a.m.): Four Greek cabinet ministers resigned on Friday in protest of the austerity measures, the Associated Press is reporting. Deputy Foreign Minister Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou followed the transportation minister and deputy ministers for merchant marine and agriculture in quitting their posts just days before the deadline for the deal.

Original: Workers showed their disapproval of the provisional austerity measures agreed upon by Greek leaders yesterday by walking out on their jobs for the second time this week, while Europe's economic "troika" sent Thursday's deal back to the drawing board. 

According to the The New York Times, a 48-hour general strike has taken hold of Greece in protest of the austerity measures.  Reuters reports that the measures included cutting minimum wage by 22 percent, slashing 150,000 public sector jobs, and reducing pensions. "Police fired teargas as black-masked protesters threw petrol bombs, stones and bottles in central Athens," added Reuters, signaling that this strike is far from peaceful. 

While workers were walking out, the leaders of the Europe's economic "troika"--European Commission, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund--insisted Greek leaders get back to work on a new deal. Luxembourg's prime minister, Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the group, said that ministers are meeting next week to possibly (hopefully?) sign off on the new rescue plan--if Greece isn't to default on March 20, a plan needs to be signed off by February 15. "Not everything that we need is on the table," said Juncker in a Guardian report, which notes that the Greek government still had to close a €325m funding gap before it would qualify for a new bailout. "Just because Greek leaders have agreed on targets does not mean that they will or indeed can be delivered," one economic analyst told The Guardian. "We have just reached a temporary truce. The war will continue to be fought for some time to come."


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