Greek labor unions call for general strike on May 20

08:53, May 13, 2010      

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Greek protesters hold placards denouncing the EU-IMF supported austerity measures during a demonstration organized by labor unions in Athens, capital of Greece, May 12, 2010. The two umbrella labor unions of public and private sector employees ADEDY and GSEE called for a new general strike on May 20. (Xinhua/Phasma)

One more demonstration against the Greek government's austerity measures and reforms was held in the center of Athens on Wednesday evening, ending peacefully in front of the parliament.

Chanting slogans against the socialist government's policies to tackle the acute economic crisis and the European Union- International Monetary Fund supported mechanism, hundreds of citizens vowed for one more time the culmination of protests until their voices be heard.

The two main umbrella unions of Greek public and private sector employees ADEDY and GSEE which organized Wednesday's march, announced a new general strike for May 20. It will be the fourth to be held this year.

The government admitted that the measures introduced over the past few months are harsh for low and medium income people, but insisted that there was no other option left and otherwise Greece would end up in bankruptcy.

Despite ongoing reactions, the government has repeatedly said that cutbacks on salaries of civil servants and pensions, tax hikes and reforms of the pension system will be fully implemented, so that Greece will keep receiving financial aid from the EU-IMF safety net.

Vowing to step up protests to avoid the "disaster caused by recipes the government and the EU-IMF mechanism promote," Giannis Panagopoulos, head of GSEE called on Greeks to support the new strike.

During the last general strike on May 5 and a massive demonstration attended by tens of thousands in the center of Athens, anarchists attacked a bank near the parliament building, causing the death of three employees, among them a 32-year-old pregnant woman.
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