17 Jun 2011

Greece's Prime Minister to reshuffle cabinet

8:30 am on 17 June 2011

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has vowed to fight on in seeking support for new austerity measures that have sparked strikes and protests.

Speaking after some figures in his party appeared to move against him, Mr Papandreou said he would reshuffle his cabinet before putting it to a vote of confidence by the parliament.

During talks this week, Mr Papandreou reportedly offered to step down to clinch a coalition, but later agreed to carry on, the BBC reports.

Ruling party deputies have been holding an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis that has shaken global markets.

Two deputies resigned on Thursday in protest against the proposed austerity measures.

The measures are necessary to gain EU and IMF aid, but have been met with fierce opposition inside Greece.

On Wednesday, some of the most violent protests in more than a year took place, as tens of thousands of activists and unionists gathered in Syntagma square in Athens, near parliament, while a further 20,000 demonstrated in Thessaloniki.

Unions held the third nationwide general strike this year.