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Greece faces new strikes as creditors press government [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2011-10-5 04:11:19 |Display all floors
Tuesday 4 October 2011.

Greece braced for new austerity strikes this week as international creditors press the government to undertake additional measures before releasing 8.0 billion euros ($10.6 billion) in bailout loans.

At a meeting in Luxembourg late on Monday, eurozone finance ministers held off approving the bailout funds, calling on Athens to make more sacrifices to squeeze its budget deficit back down to agreed levels despite a continued recession.

Luxembourg premier Jean-Claude Juncker, who heads the group of eurozone finance ministers, called on Greece to agree "additional measures" with international auditors "to close any remaining gaps for 2013 and 2014."

The EU, the IMF and the European Central Fund have pressured Athens to revise labour agreements in the private sector in return the for bankruptcy-saving loans, state-owned TV station NET and other media reported.

While Greece has already cut wages for civil servants, Prime Minister George Papandreou rejected touching private sector collective labour contracts, TV NET reported.

Greek garbage collectors on Tuesday kick off walkouts expected to escalate on Wednesday with a nationwide civil service strike against a new wave of wage cuts and layoffs imposed by the government to shore up slipping fiscal targets.

Communist unionists early on Tuesday occupied the office of Labour Minister George Koutroumanis as others blocked entrances at the finance and development ministries.

Greece is racing against the clock to secure funds from the EU, the IMF and the ECB -- known locally as the 'troika' -- before its reserves run out.

A payment freeze was feared this month, but the Greek government told its peers in Brussels on Monday that it could hold out until November.

The money is part of a 110-billion-euro loan extended by the three organisations in May 2010 to avert an earlier Greek brush with default.

The loan was given in return for tough austerity reforms that Greece has struggled to enact this year amid a deeper-than-anticipated recession.

Papandreou's office also denied late on Monday that he was planning to resign, as reported in a Financial Times Deutschland story appearing on Tuesday.

The PM's office termed the story "trash", the semi-state Athens News Agency said.

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Post time 2011-10-5 19:23:33 |Display all floors
it will be very cheap soon, buy later
(beast ex machina)

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Post time 2011-10-5 19:54:57 |Display all floors
Originally posted by Kbay at 2011-10-5 14:31
I just paid $100,000 for a Greek Island in eBay.
Seems quiet bargain now, but will it be worth $100 in two months' time is anybody's guess.


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Post time 2011-10-5 20:50:13 |Display all floors
good news for submission emofags
(beast ex machina)

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Post time 2011-10-6 03:44:17 |Display all floors

Thousands demonstrate in Greece against austerity

Thursday 6 October 2011.

Greek police tear-gassed protestors in central Athens on Wednesday as public sector staff and students went on strike over austerity cuts, shutting down courts, schools and transport including flights.

On Athens' central Syntagma Square outside the parliament building, police used tear gas to clear some of the 20,000 protestors, who included some 300 anarchists, after firebombs were thrown at them, an Agence France-Presse reporter said.

At least two protesters were injured, the ambulance service said, in addition to an AFP photographer struck in the face by a riot policeman's shield as she took pictures of his colleagues hitting a demonstrator lying on the ground.

Another 10,000 people marched in the northern city of Thessaloniki.

The protests organized by the two main Greek unions, ADEDY and GSEE, came ahead of a general strike on October 19, which will also affect banks and shops.

It was called in response to new taxes, wage cuts and layoffs imposed by a government, fighting to avert a default on its debt payments, as the next installment of international aid hangs in the balance.

"Every time the public deficit gets bigger they impose new taxes, life is just getting too expensive," said Stavros and Helena, a married couple employed by the city of Athens.

"They should just put us on a boat and send us away," they told AFP.

"All workers must unite and coordinate their forces against this storm of measures that strike income and labor rights," ADEDY chairman Costas Tsikrikas told Flash Radio.

"If we don't resist we will lose everything," he said.

Interior Minister Haris Kastanidis said Greece must hold a referendum so the seemingly outraged public can vote on the government's response to the debt crisis.

There was a need, Kastanidis said, "for the Greek people, at this critical moment, to take a position on the fiscal problem."

He did not specify when such a call to the public would be made, or the exact phrasing of the question, but said, "it will not be an easy question, but a vital question."

Government spokesman Elias Mossialos later denied that a referendum was being planned.

'Furlough equals layoffs'

Civil servants are protesting a plan to furlough some 30,000 employees, who will be on reduced pay for a year as they try to find other jobs.

The workers concerned already suffered sweeping wage cuts last year.

"Furlough equals layoffs," read a banner carried by municipal workers. Communist unions urged Greeks to "organize resistance" as they marched on parliament.

The 24-hour walkout has shut down ministries, town halls, museums, schools and courtrooms, as well as flights in Greece. It also brought trains to a halt and hospitals were reduced to emergency staffing.

The labor plan, accompanied by downsizing at scores of state-owned companies, is designed to ease the state payroll as the government struggles to balance its bulging public deficit.

But there has been mounting criticism even within the ruling Socialist party.

"We have fallen behind in three crucial reform fields -- civil service wages, tax evasion and privatizations," former labor minister Louka Katseli told private television station Mega.

"We gave our (EU) peers an excuse to say that necessary reforms were not carried out in the summer," she said.

The additional austerity cuts are mandated by Greece's international creditors -- the EU, IMF and European Central Bank -- under an economic recovery program launched last year in return for a 110-billion-euro ($149-billion) loan.

A high-level mission from the three organizations is currently conducting an audit of Greek finances and must sign off on the release of an eight-billion-euro loan installment next month.

Greece's state reserves to pay wages and pensions run out in November.

The country is trapped in a deepening recession and many Greeks point out that the cumulative cuts are only digging a deeper hole for the economy, which is expected to contract by 5.5 percent of output this year.

As the recession has repeatedly neutralized part of the sacrifices, there is concern that additional cutbacks to meet slipping fiscal targets are inevitable.

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Post time 2017-8-24 01:17:17 |Display all floors
Greece is hopeless.

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