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Three LAOS MPs quit cabinet, two will vote for measures

Makis Voridis, one of the three LAOS MPs who resigned from Cabinet on Friday.

Three Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) MPs have resigned from the Cabinet but two have said they will go against their party leaders’ wishes and vote in favor of Greece’s new loan agreement.

Transport Minister Makis Voridis, Deputy Merchant Marine Minister Adonis Georgiadis and Deputy Agriculture Minister Asterios Rondoulis tendered their resignation after LAOS leader Giorgos Karatzaferis said that he would not support the loan agreement following lengthy negotiations this week.

However, in their resignation letters, Voridis and Georgiadis, said they would vote for the new bailout on Sunday.

LAOS, which has 16 MPs, had four Cabinet members. The fourth, Giorgos Georgiou, has not clarified his position so far.

Earlier, Karatzaferis held a news conference to explain why his party would not vote for the bailout, which requires Greece to adopt further tough austerity measures.

"The creditors are asking for 40 years of submission,” Karatzaferis said.

“Greece will not give itself up. Greece can survive outside the EU but cannot survive under a German boot.”

Insisting that the creditors' insistence on cuts to auxiliary pensions had been the last straw, he said that had the cuts passed, the leader of the mission of the International Monetary Fund in Greece, Poul Thomsen, would be 'persona non grata' in the country.

The decision by Voridis and Georgiadis to go against the party line by saying they would vote for the measures suggests that an irreparable rift has developed within LAOS, which has seen its support in the polls drop to just 5 percent.

ekathimerini.com , Friday February 10, 2012 (18:17)  
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