Papoutsis meets with prime minister in wake of riots

Greece’s Citizens’ Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis was meeting with Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on Monday in the wake of extensive rioting in the center of Athens during a crucial Parliament vote on a second bailout loan for the country.

The meeting between the two men was scheduled for 3 p.m., reports said Monday.

Papoutsis has come under fire after police failed to contain violence that saw a number of buildings torched and shops looted. There have been calls for the socialist minister to resign.

At least 45 buildings were burned — including the neo-classical home to the Attikon cinema dating from 1870 — while dozens of stores and cafes were smashed and looted, police said on Monday.

The rioting began ahead of a tense vote in Parliament on a fresh package of austerity measures requested by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a second bailout loan. Lawmakers approved the agreement in the early hours of Monday despite more than 40 PASOK and New Democracy deputies voting against the terms of the deal.