PostHeaderIcon Greek PM to form new government

Protesters in Athens, 15 June 2011Protesters fought running battles with the police in central Athens
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Greek PM George Papandreou has proposed a unity government as he tries to win support for austerity measures demanded by the EU and IMF, state TV reports.

Some reports said Mr Papandreou had even offered to step down, in talks with opposition leader Antonis Samaras.

Mr Papandreou has been facing the risk of a revolt in his Pasok party over the controversial austerity package.

Greek police clashed with protesters outside parliament over the measures, and unions held a general strike.

Mr Papandreou is seeking support for a new austerity programme of 28bn euros (£24.6bn; $40.5bn) in cuts to take effect from 2012 to 2015.

On Tuesday, one member of parliament defected from Mr Papandreou’s Pasok party, leaving it with only 155 of the chamber’s 300 seats.

At least one other Pasok deputy has threatened to vote against the new programme of cuts and privatisation of state assets, and a number of others are said to be wavering.

The EU and IMF are demanding the measures in return for the release of another 12bn euros in aid next month which Athens needs to pay off maturing debt.

This article is from the BBC News website. © British Broadcasting Corporation, The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

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