International

Greek Protests Turn Violent; Prime Minister Reportedly Offers To Step Aside

A cloud of tear gas surrounded demonstrators in Athens earlier today (June 15, 2011). i i

A cloud of tear gas surrounded demonstrators in Athens earlier today (June 15, 2011). Milos Bicanski/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Milos Bicanski/Getty Images
A cloud of tear gas surrounded demonstrators in Athens earlier today (June 15, 2011).

A cloud of tear gas surrounded demonstrators in Athens earlier today (June 15, 2011).

Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

"Hundreds of protesters clashed with riot police in central Athens Wednesday," The Associated Press writes, "as a major anti-austerity rally degenerated into violence outside parliament, where the struggling government was to seek support for new cutbacks to avoid a disastrous default."

The English-language Athens News is live-blogging events and is hosting a live video stream of what's happening in central Athens. It just posted this update:

"State-run Net television is reporting that [Prime Minister] George Papandreou said he is prepared to accept the formation of a coalition government, even under the premiership of someone else."

Reuters says it's been told by a "government source" that Papandreou is "willing to step down only if [a] specific framework [and] targets" concerning a new government are agreed to.

The BBC puts things this way:

"Prime Minister George Papandreou faces the risk of a revolt in his Pasok party over the austerity package. He has proposed a unity government to pass the measures, state TV reports."

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