Greek former ministers lead anti-EU protest

9 March 2016
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Two former ministers in Greece’s left-wing government have led a demonstration against the European Union, briefly occupying the EU Commission building in central Athens to protest Europe’s planned migration agreement with Turkey as well as the country’s international bailout.

About 50 protesters staged the occupation, led by the former ministers of energy and social security, Panagiotis Lafazanis and Dimitris Stratoulis. They accused the government of backing the EU plans, which they said would weaken international protection for refugees and leave thousands more migrants stranded in Greece.

The two ex-ministers were part of a breakup last year of the governing left-wing SYRIZA party, a split that triggered early general elections last September.

Greece’s refugee crisis has sharply worsened in recent weeks after Austria and several Balkan countries began imposing border restrictions and closures.

The government said Wednesday that nearly 36,000 refugees and migrants are now stranded in the country.

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