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'Turmoil' In Europe Continues To Trouble Markets

While Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou struggled to bring calm to his country today by shuffling his cabinet, The New York Times warns that:

"The instability rocking Greece this week is the latest manifestation of a troubling new phase in the global financial crisis: political turmoil is sweeping through Europe, toppling governments and threatening to undermine efforts to rescue the financial system and, ultimately, the euro zone itself."

As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, Papandreou will seek a vote of confidence in parliament next week. Over the past three weeks, Athens has been the scene of protests over the government's austerity program — and on Wednesday there were clashes with authorities.

Meanwhile, the BBC says that "German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are meeting in Berlin to discuss further assistance aimed at preventing Greece defaulting on its sovereign debt — which amounts to some 340bn euros. Athens is seeking to make budget cuts worth 28bn euros (£24.6bn; $40.5bn) over the next four years."

Earlier this week, Planet Money wrote that the chaos in Greece stems from this basic fact: "The country is on track to run out of money next month."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.