Greek civil servants protest against austerity measures ends, more to follow

09:46, April 28, 2010      

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Greek protesters denounce austerity measures and the activation of the EU-IMF support mechanism for Greek economy during a demonstration in the centre of Athens, capital of Greece, on April 27, 2010. (Xinhua/Marios Lolos)

Thousands of protesters marched peacefully in the center of Athens in front of the parliament on Tuesday evening in one more demonstration organized by the umbrella union of civil workers' ADEDY, denouncing the austerity measures and the activation of the EU-IMF financial aid plan for Greece.

"Employees will culminate the struggle against the unfair policies of the Greek government, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). We are not willing to pay for their crisis," a statement by ADEDY stressed, as protesters raised banners with slogans against cutbacks on salaries, tax raises and the resort to the EU-IMF safety net.

"We simply cannot accept a worse future, due to others' mistakes. They cannot ask from low income citizens to tighten the belts more, when billions of euros were wasted for nothing," protesters like Lambros Papanikolaou, a 37-year-old public employee who fears more measures and even lay offs, told Xinhua.

Under more and more intense pressure from markets, EU partners and IMF the Greek government repeatedly said that all necessary painful changes will be implemented to save the debt-ridden country from worse, but many Greek people still do not agree.

ADEDY and the similar umbrella union of private sector employees GSEE decided on Tuesday afternoon to hold a new 24-hour general strike on May 5, as public transport workers ended a 6- hour work stoppage that caused a traffic chaos in Athens all day.

The wide majority of Greek citizens, 60.9 percent, rejected the resort of Greece to the EU-IMF safety net, according to a poll released on Tuesday.

A 70.2 percent of the 1,400 people asked in the survey conducted for MEGA television channel viewed particularly negative the implication of IMF in the mechanism. Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is still considered the most capable leader at the moment by 45.5 percent in comparison with a 26 percent Antonis Samaras, the head of the main opposition party received.

Asked who is to be blamed for the current situation in Greece, 54.3 percent of Greek citizens answered that all previous governments of the now ruling socialist PASOK party, as well as the center-Right New Democracy party bear responsibility.

Source: Xinhua


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