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SEPTEMBER 2020

Greeks Protest as Government & Creditors Discuss New Austerity Measures

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About 2,000 Greek protesters have taken to the streets to oppose bailout talks between the Greek authorities and international creditors.

Greeks Protest as Government & Creditors Discuss New Austerity Measures

Protesters gather outside the Hilton hotel in Athens, where Greek officials hold meetings with representatives of its creditors on March 1, 2017 (Photo: AFP)

On Wednesday, about 2,000 activists took to the streets of Athens in order to protest bailout talks between the Greek authorities and country’s international creditors. The peaceful rally took place near a hotel, where a new set of reforms, such as cuts in pensions and income tax breaks, was being discussed by officials.

“No one can live in 2017 with living conditions similar to a post-war era. It’s not right to have children fainting in the schools from hunger. It’s not right to have soup kitchens like we are in war or under occupation,” one of the protesters said.

The demonstration was organized by the All Workers Militant Front (PAME), a communist-affiliated trade union, which harshly criticizes bailout programs. However, these programs have been keeping Greece afloat since 2010, when the country’s economy entered stagnation.

The negotiations, aimed on creating a drawn-out bailout review and unlocking funds for Greece, had been started a day earlier. The country is currently experiencing its worst economic crisis since World War Two. A successful result of the current bailout talks could shield Greece from a default in July.

Two weeks ago, when Greece and its European creditors agreed to resume suspended talks on the bailout program, as the Greek government promised to introduce additional austerity measures, protests increased in the country.

Poverty levels in Greece have reached its maximum during nearly seven years of austerity. The country also has the highest unemployment rate in the EU – 23 percent.

Authorities in Greece have severely reduced government spending, frozen hiring, and slashed incomes to keep receiving the rescue loans to shore up Greece’s ailing economy.

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