Greek unions protest austerity measures

The largest Greek unions are having protests and work stoppages today (Feb. 29) to protest the coalition government's plan to press ahead with more austerity measures and wage cuts.

A three-hour work stoppage will close tax offices and public agencies from noon to 3. At 6 PM protests are planned for central Athens. Groups in other parts of Europe are to join in solidarity.

The government already passed cuts to public pensions and government spending and cuts to the minimum wage yesterday. The measures are demanded by creditors to receive rescue loans.

Doctors in many hospitals are also on strike for a day to protest cuts in health care funding. Greece's largest union the GSEE said:"The workers in our country will continue step up their (protest) action and in Greece and in Europe so we can finally put a stop to this steamrolling of society," The protests have not stopped the government from forging ahead with austerity measures.

Since the start of the financial problems Greece's unemployment rate has almost doubled to a whopping 21 per cent. Yet the country is forced to make more cuts that will create further unemployment to receive a 174 billion rescue package to avoid default. Many analysts doubt the package will save Greece and that it will eventually default in any event. For more see this article.


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