World Media

Greeks Strike to Protest Austerity Measures

Greeks Strike to Protest Austerity Measures

Greece's workers walked off the job for a 24-hour general strike Thursday, as the country prepares to stop relying on European rescue loans but continues to pile more austerity measures on hard-hit taxpayers.

The Greek finance ministry is maintaining high taxation with the aim of collecting a budget surplus equivalent to 3.8 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), excluding debt payments in 2018. A vote in the plenary has been scheduled for next Tuesday.

Throughout Greece public services were paralyzed by the strike action called by the umbrella unions of civil servants ADEDY and private sector employees GSEE.

They chanted: "Take your bailouts and get out of here".

Greeks Strike to Protest Austerity Measures

Some of the protesters held banners in support of Palestine and against the USA decision to name Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Under its latest bailout review, the government has agreed to cut spending further, reduce pensions, complete an evaluation of public sector staff's skills and qualifications and sell coal-fired power stations.

Thursday's protest was triggered by a government plan to toughen strike rules in draft legislation submitted to parliament and swiftly withdrawn. As solidary people and regardless of their political views, Greeks would never organise a counter-protest against the striking trade unions, he added. The state had adopted "ruthless dead end policies which were strangling the Greek people", GSEE said in a statement.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was catapulted to power in 2015 on promises to end austerity. That bailout ends in August and Tsipras, whose term ends in 2019 and his party's popularity is sliding in opinion polls, wants to attempt "a clean exit", without additional aid.

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