Austerity deal and layoffs protested by Greeks

Greeks protest austerity deal, layoffs

Fri, 30 Nov 2012 15:55:54 GMT

Greek municipal workers have once again taken to the streets in the capital Athens to protest against austerity measures and public sector layoffs demanded by the country’s international lenders.

The demonstration took place on Friday near the Interior Ministry where angry protesters shouted slogans against the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

“The protest came four days after the government struck an austerity deal with its international lenders and promised to slash 27,000 jobs in the near future. ”
After 12 hours of negotiation at their third meeting in three weeks in the Belgian capital Brussels, eurozone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials decided on Tuesday to release a EUR 43.7-billion (USD 56-billion) tranche of bailout funds to recession-hit Greece, which will help the country reduce its debt by EUR 40 billion by 2020.

Hours after the meeting, some 3,000 Greek municipal workers marched through the streets of the capital in opposition to job losses demanded by the international lenders.

Greece has been at the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis and is experiencing its fifth year of recession, while harsh austerity measures have left about half a million people without jobs.

One in every five Greek workers is currently unemployed, banks are in a shaky position, and pensions and salaries have been slashed by up to 40 percent.

The country has been surviving on bailout loans from international creditors since May 2010.

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