Nikolopoulos resigns as deputy labor minister

A deputy labor minister has resigned from Greece’s new coalition government, saying it should have pressed harder to renegotiate the terms of the country’s bailout agreements.

Nikos Nikolopoulos announced his resignation Monday, hours after the new conservative-led government won a confidence vote in parliament.

Nikolopoulos, in a letter, argued that the government should have taken a tougher line with international debt inspectors in Athens last week to “correct serious distortions in the labor, pension and benefit systems.”

He will be replaced by Kavala deputy Nikos Panagiotopoulos.

Greece, in its fifth year of recession, has been surviving on international rescue loans for more than two years. The conservatives won June 17 elections on a campaign pledge to improve the terms of austerity measures demanded by creditors. [AP,]

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