Thousands of Greeks protest planned pay cuts
Athens: Thousands of police marched through Athens on Thursday, chanting "thieves, thieves" and carrying black flags, to oppose planned pay cuts under a huge new austerity package meant to save Greece from defaulting on its mountain of debt.
The 4,000 protesters, who also included firefighters and coast guard officers, lit flares, blared spray-can horns, and set up mock gallows outside Parliament.
The peaceful anti-government demonstration came amid deepening social gloom as official figures showed Greece`s unemployment rate surged to 24.4 percent in June, including more than 1.2 million people out of work, many of them youths.
It was the latest in a string of protests against the new USD 14.4 billion austerity package for 2013-14, demanded by rescue creditors from other eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund.
A top labor leader warned yesterday that the spending cuts would unleash unprecedented social unrest without helping the recession-shackled economy.
"To insist on the (current) austerity program and adopt new measures against the less well-off will provoke a social explosion that is violent and of an intensity never seen before by Greek society," said Yiannis Panagopoulos, the head of the country`s main GSEE union.
Without the measures, Greece will lose access to the vital bailout loans that are shielding it from bankruptcy. But after 2 1/2 years of punishing austerity, the new cutbacks planned by Greece`s conservative-led governing coalition have sparked deep anger, spawning unusual protests by workers such as judges and police.
Thursday`s protesters shouted slogans such as "Thieves, thieves”, ``Shame, you`re delivering the final blow to the security forces”, and "Come out and see how low you have brought us”, as they marched to the Finance Ministry in central Athens.
They set up mock triple gallows on an open-top van, with a sign reading "Troika" in reference to the austerity inspectors from the European Union, the IMF and the European Central Bank. An officer from each of the services police, coast guard, and firefighters stood with his head in a noose.
The new austerity program, though not yet finalised, is expected to see further cuts to benefits and pensions for several groups of employees on the state payroll, including the workers marching, judges and university professors.
Earlier on Thursday, protesting police officers defied colleagues in the riot police and blocked the entrance of one of their own Athens facilities for about four hours.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- I eat beef, can somebody stop me?: Kiren Rijiju hits back at Naqvi
- Delhi: Visually impaired boy scores 91.4% in CBSE 12th Board exams
- MP: 14-year-old boy works as bonded labour since 2009
- UP: Man chops off wife's nose, hair for dowry
- Zee Media Exclusive: The plight of yoga expert Tejaswi Sharma
- Woman denied flat in Mumbai for being a Muslim
- 4 Indians in Forbes' 100 most powerful women list
- Heat ave continues in India, death toll climbs to over 1,400
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads
- Megastar Amitabh Bachchan slapped with Rs 1 crore notice
- Kenyan lawyer offers to marry Barack Obama's daughter Malia
- Gujjar stir: HC asks Rajasthan govt to clear rail track, roads- Part II
- AIB: The 'Third Gender's right to dignity'
- Maggi likely to face ban in India!
- Salman Khan accident files burnt in Mantralaya fire
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 to be announced today
- Check mahresult.nic.in for MSBSHSE Maharashtra Class 12 HSC Result 2015
- CBSE Class 10 Board Result 2015 (cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in) postponed?
- Maharashtra MSBSHSE HSC Result 2015 on mahresult.nic.in
- I was misquoted, says Kiren Rijiju on 'beef' remark
- First look: Salman Khan steals thunder in `Bajrangi Bhaijaan`
- mahresult.nic.in updated with MSBSHSE Maharashtra HSC Class XII Result 2015
- Check cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 10 Result 2015
- Manmohan Singh defends himself on 2G charge, slams Modi govt for 'carbon copy' schemes
- Sonia Gandhi 'unconstitutional authority' during UPA: PM Narendra Modi
- CBSE Class 10 (Class X Board) Result 2015 on cbse.nic.in, cbseresults.nic.in at 2 pm
- Hours after attacking NDA govt, Manmohan Singh meets PM Narendra Modi
- Reservation stir: Five percent job quota to Gujjars unlikely, hints Rajasthan govt
- PMO website revamped, now send e-mail to PM Modi directly
- Death toll climbs to over 1400 as intense heatwave continues in India