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Ceturtdiena 19.10.2017 | Name days: Drosma, Drosmis, Elīna

Greece braces for general strike

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Today, September 26, Greek trade unions are calling for the third general strike to protest against austerity.

Workers from a diverse range of sectors are taking part in the strike, from doctors to air traffic controllers, reports BBC.

Large anti-austerity demonstrations are also planned and there is growing fear they might not be entirely peaceful. To prevent possible outbreak of violence, thousands of police have been deployed in the centre of Athens.

Meanwhile, a poll shows that more than 90% of Greeks believe the planned cuts are unfair and create a burden on the poor.

This will be the first general strike since the conservative-led coalition government and its PM Antonis Samaras came to power in June. He is set to carry out more than 11.5bn euro spending cuts, so that Greece is granted the next 31bn-euro installment of its international bailout.

The government is also proposing to slash pensions and raise the retirement age to 67.

The savings are a pre-condition to Greece receiving its next tranche of bailout funds, without which the country could face bankruptcy and end up leaving the euro.

However, some analysts think that the severe spending cuts may not be enough to put the deeply indebted country back on the right track.

As reported, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has reiterated his belief that exiting the euro would be a «catastrophe» for his country. He calls again for more time for Greece to implement spending cuts.

There are indications creditors are considering giving Greece more time.

But one leading German politician has said Germany is unlikely to agree to further help for Greece beyond that which has already been agreed.

However, International Monetary Fund (IMF) head Christine Lagarde is believed to have hinted that Greece’s creditors may be receptive to giving the country more time.

The European Union, the European Central Bank and the IMF are due to report next month on whether Greece has met the conditions laid down for the next installment of its second bailout.

Ref: 105.105.105.2889


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