Greeks protest austerity measures, drape banners at Acropolis

Greek protesters unfurled banners over the defensive walls of the ancient Acropolis, the country`s most famous monument.

Updated: May 04, 2010, 13:21 PM IST

Athens, Greece: Greek protesters unfurled banners over the defensive walls of the ancient Acropolis, the country`s most famous monument, to protest harsh new austerity measures as strikes began Tuesday across the country.

About 100 protesters from the Greek Communist Party unfurled the banners in Greek and English reading: "Peoples of Europe - Rise Up."

Police did not intervene as the protesters carrying red flags stood beside the ancient Parthenon, beside the two large banners.

Greece`s cash-strapped government announced sweeping spending cuts worth euro30 billion ($40 billion) through 2012 on Sunday, in order to secure a vital rescue package of loans from the International Monetary Fund and other countries using the euro.

The new measures will result in deeper cuts in pensions and public servants` pay, and a new hike in consumer taxes.

Public servants began a 48-hour strike Tuesday, with protest marches planned later Tuesday. Workers in the private sector are due to join them on Wednesday for a nationwide general strike.

Union leaders say the cuts target low-income Greeks.

"There are other things the (government) can do, before taking money from a pensioner who earns euro500 ($660) a month," Spyros Papaspyros, leader of the public servants` union ADEDY, told private Mega television.

Bureau Report