Monday Sep 10, 201206:34 AM GMT
Greeks protest government austerity measures
Demonstrators march during a protest rally against austerity measures and budget cuts in Thessaloniki, Greece, September 8, 2012.
Demonstrators march during a protest rally against austerity measures and budget cuts in Thessaloniki, Greece, September 8, 2012.
Greek people have once again taken to the streets to protest new government-planned austerity measures, as the representatives of international lenders are in Athens to asses the eligibility of the debt-laden country for the next installment of loans.


Thousands of people joined demonstrations in the capital and the northern city of Thessaloniki on Saturday in a bid to send their “No More Austerity” message to the government.

The protesters said that people could no more put up with spending cuts and that the imposed austerity plans have crippled their lives.

The Greek government has planned to impose a new round of austerity measures in exchange for more bailout money, a move described by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras as necessary to overcome the country’s current debt crisis.

Meanwhile, officials from the Greek government met on Sunday with the representatives of the so-called troika of creditors - the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Central Bank and the European Union.

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras presented the troika representatives with plans to cut more than USD 14 billion off its spending over a two-year period starting from 2013 in order to persuade the lenders to grant the next installment of loans.

The EU and IMF have offered Greece two rescue packages in return for specific austerity measures, which include cutting public sector salaries and pensions, increasing taxes, and overhauling the pension system.

Samaras is expected to meet with the troika creditors on Monday and will hold talks with his coalition partners on Wednesday to finalize the new austerity packages.

Greek trade unions, however, denounced the international creditors for pressuring Athens to deregulate the labor market, and condemned as "barbaric" the latest round of cuts announced by the coalition government.

SAB/MA/HJL
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