Municipal police demonstrate during a general strike in Athens on July 16, 2013.

Municipal police demonstrate during a general strike in Athens on July 16, 2013.
Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:37PM GMT
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The latest austerity measure is required by the country’s international lenders, including the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in order for Athens to start receiving EUR 6.8 billion (USD 8.9 billion) of fresh aid.”

Thousands of Greeks have staged a substantial rally in the capital city of Athens to protest against a bill that includes plans to cut thousands of civil service jobs.

At least 16,000 protesters gathered outside the parliament in Athens on Tuesday, shutting down municipal services by disrupting public transport and medical work.

The massive walkout came after unions called for a general strike against fresh austerity measures the government is imposing in order to receive billions of euros in bailout loans.

The latest austerity measure is required by the country’s international lenders, including the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in order for Athens to start receiving EUR 6.8 billion (USD 8.9 billion) of fresh aid.

The Greek bill is expected to be passed on Wednesday, placing 4,200 public workers, including teachers, school wardens, and municipal police under so-called redeployment.

By the end of this year, some 25,000 civil servants must be redeployed overall and an additional 4,000 fired in order for the country to receive the tranche in bailout rescue loans.

Greece is experiencing its sixth year of recession, which has forced it to impose harsh austerity measures over the past four years in return for multi-billion-euro international bailouts to avoid defaulting on its debt.

The measures are deeply unpopular among the population as citizens have seen their pensions cut and their salaries reduced by up to 40 percent.

Furthermore, the country’s overall unemployment rate has reached a level not seen in its modern history as it stands at 27 percent; the rate is at a shocking 64 percent among the youth.

GMA/PR/SS

 

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