Greeks stage anti-austerity protest

Greeks stage anti-austerity protest

Wed, 09 Apr 2014 11:56:48 GMT

Thousands of Greek workers have taken to the streets in the capital Athens to protest against the government’s austerity measures.

The protest on Wednesday was called by private sector union, GSEE, and its public sector counterpart, ADEDY, to oppose the government’s austerity policies imposed by international creditors.

“This is our answer to the dead-end policies that have squeezed workers and made Greek people miserable,” said GSEE in a statement, adding, “We are striking and fighting to put an end to austerity.”

According to Greek police, over 6,000 people joined the protest, including striking workers, pensioners and unemployed Greeks.

The demonstration was staged during a nationwide walkout that brought the daily life across Greece to a standstill.

Schools and pharmacies were closed down, island ferries remained docked at ports, hospitals operated on emergency staff and other public services were disrupted by the strike.

This comes as the government plans to fire at least 11,000 public servants this year.

The job cuts are part of the government’s austerity measures, which range from tax hikes to salary and pension cuts.

Athens has been required by international lenders — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — to undertake certain measures in exchange for bailout loans totaling 240 billion euros.

The country has been at the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis and has so far experienced seven years of recession.

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