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Violence in Athens as PM offers to resign

Violence in Athens as PM offers to resign
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As new clashes break out in Greece over government attempts to widen austerity measures, the prime minister has reportedly offered to resign – but on certain conditions.

As rocks, petrol bombs and tear gas rained down amid battles between protesters and police, government sources said Socialist leader George Papandreou made a surprise offer to political rivals.

He said he would be ready to step aside for the formation of a unity government, but only if it supports EU/IMF bailout plans.

However, a spokesman for the opposition conservative New Democracy party said they would only take part in a unity government if it renegotiated the bailout.

Tens of thousands of Greeks have marched on parliament and workers launched a national strike, as deputies began to debate a five-year belt-tightening plan.

To continue receiving bailout money, the government is being told it must introduce yet more reforms.

These include tax rises, spending cuts and sell-offs of state property.