After failing to meet yet another EU deadline yesterday, Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos is continuing to negotiate the terms of an austerity package—and now he has a strike on his hands, too. Union workers across the nation shut down major ports and public transportation, and riot police have taken up positions outside Parliament. Euro-zone officials say Greece must agree to the bailout package and its associated austerity plan—and the euro zone, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund must approve it—by Feb. 15 or Greece will default by mid-March. Greece has to cut €600 million this year, part of a total austerity package of €3.3 billion. They also have to cut the minimum wage by as much as 20 percent. European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes, meanwhile, told a Dutch newspaper that it wouldn't be that big a deal if Greece left the euro.
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