Greece’s prime minister is to form a new cabinet and seek a vote of confidence from his divided Socialist party. It follows a day of unprecedented violent protests against his deeply unpopular austerity measures.
George Papandreou said in a televised address: “We are at a crucial moment and at a critical time for decisions and I believe that national consensus is important for the country’s interest.”
Reaction to the the Greek premiers’ efforts among demonstrators who returned to the parliament building late last night was mixed.
Protester Peggy Tselepi said “a cabinet reshuffle with what? I remember our grandfathers used to do that. It’s the same people every time. It is different meals but they are cooked in the same pot.”
Yannis Tsatsaris felt differently. “I think this decision by the prime minister is very responsible. I think that he has understood the message, and that he is trying to respond to this anger by the people,” he said.
But Papandreou also faces political resistance to his second austerity package and even some of his own back-benchers intend to reject it.