Greek Leaders Finally Huddle on Debt Deal

After delay over translation
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2012 11:38 AM CST
Police stand guard on February 8, 2012 in front of the Ministry of Development occupied by Public Power company unionists in Athens.   (Getty Images/AFP PHOTO)

(Newser) – The leaders of the three parties comprising Greece's coalition government finally met today to decide whether to make deeper austerity cuts in exchange for a $170 billion bailout from Europe, after three days of delays, the AP reports. The new austerity measures would be in addition to the 15,000 public workers Greece has agreed to dispense with. Other aspects of the deal are in place as well, Reuters reports, including a bond swap deal that wouldn't lower the value of those bonds.

The meetings were briefly delayed yet again today when George Kratzaferis, head of the populist Laos party, complained that the draft agreement was in English, the language it had been negotiated in, instead of Greek. He briefly threatened to skip the meeting entirely, but was talked out of it, according to the Guardian's liveblog, which also spotted this amusing tweet from a spoof Angela Merkel account: "Translation for Mr. Karatzaferis: 'SIGN HERE.'" (Read more Greece stories.)

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