In the wake of violent demonstrations on Wednesday, debt-ridden Greece on Thursday attempted to reshuffle its government in an attempt to enact further austerity measures required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European Central Bank (ECB) in exchange for a bailout. However, political defections on Thursday put those plans in jeopardy as politicians responded to the public outcry against draconian measures.
Reuters reported that Wednesday's demonstrations in Syntagma Square in Athens led Prime Minister George Papandreou to announce plans to rearrange his Cabinet and to submit to a vote of confidence over the measures, which have sparked huge outpourings of civil unrest in Greece. But the resignation of two lawmakers from Papandreou's party and discontent among some of those who remain may cause problems.
Planned austerity measures including higher taxes, the sell off of state assets and massive layoffs in a country where the unemployment rate already tops 16% have led to violence, as demonstrators clashed with police.