World Bulletin / News Desk
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has expelled one of his deputies for threatening to vote against the latest package of austerity measures demanded by international lenders, the government said on Monday.
Greece is finalising a package of spending cuts worth 11.5 billion euros for 2013 and 2014, which must be ratified by parliament before it can secure its next tranche of aid from the EU and IMF to avoid bankruptcy.
Nikos Stavrogiannis was dismissed from the New Democracy parliamentary group after saying he would vote against the measures, which include a new wave of cuts to wages and pensions, because they were "unfair, harsh and ineffective".
"My conscience does not allow me to vote for measures that devastate the weakest members of society," Stavrogiannis told the Real News newspaper in an interview published on Saturday.
The expulsion of Stavrogiannis, who remains in parliament as as an independent, underscores Samaras's hard line on deputies publicly undermining his pledge to push through the cuts to restore Greece's credibility among lenders.
"Obviously we do not see eye to eye with Mr Stavrogiannis," the government's spokesman, Simos Kedikoglou, told Greek television on Monday, confirming the expulsion.
"The vast majority of us have realised that there is an imperative national duty that we must serve, that we must put the national interest above everything else."
Stavrogiannis's dismissal reduces the three-party coalition's backing to 177 seats in the 300-member parliament, still comfortably above the 151-seat majority needed for the measures to pass.
Stavrogiannis is the first New Democracy lawmaker to be kicked out for threatening to vote against the package. In July, Samaras expelled Deputy Labour Minister Nikos Nikolopoulos after he resigned his post complaining that the government was not being forceful enough in negotiations with its lenders.
The arrests in the southeastern city of Teulada and the enclave of Ceuta in northern Morocco came a day after Spanish police detained four men with alleged links to people involved in the Brussels airport and metro attacks last year.
Slated for Tuesday, election of new Libyan central bank governor is indefinitely postponed by parliamentary official
Unknown attackers in northern Iraq briefly disable strategic Kirkuk-Ceyhan oil pipeline
The ship was heading towards Mljet Island on an "urgent medical transport" mission when the accident occurred on Tuesday evening near the popular tourist city, according to the ministry responsible for maritime affairs.
The bombings came two days after multiple suicide attacks near the strategic city that killed four members of the civilian joint taskforce (JTF) and injured two others.
The line was shut between Bressanone and Fortezza to the north to allow inspectors to assess what happened. Passengers were being transferred to buses for that part of their journeys.
German chancellor urges governments at Women20 Summit to do more to economically empower women
Trump's former national security advisor could face up to 5 years in prison for breaking the law
Prisoners told the Journal Sentinel that Thomas spent the last days of his life in agony, begging for water, in vain.
The opposition urged protesters to march on central Caracas, a pro-Maduro bastion where the seat of government is located.
The leaders of the other 27 EU nations will meet on April 29 to set down the bloc's red lines, though the talks will not begin until June.
Rather than efforts to keep the peace, the conflict is escalating in the war-ravaged country, said head of UN mission
US District Judge William Orrick says executive order unconstitutional, lawsuits likely to succeed
Ankara does not recognize monitoring decision, stands ready to reconsider EU accession, Turkish president says
The four were among nine men arrested in a vast operation targeting suspected extremists that was carried out in the northeastern region of Catalonia in conjunction with Belgian police, Catalan police said in a statement.
The incident occurred on Monday night, with the traditional flat-bottomed boat overturning off Bettenty, an island area just north of The Gambia, with 72 on board.