Greek employees protest against austerity measures
Greek employees in the public and private sector staged demonstration on Tuesday against government's austerity measures in capital Athens, causing minor clashes and traffic jams.
Debt-strapped Greece toughened austerity measures this month and gained EU backing for a financial rescue plan, but the spending cuts also fueled public discontent.
Hundreds of members of labor unions gathered in front of the Athens University and marched towards the Parliament building, chanting slogans against the government's economic policy and vowing a new round of protests after the Easter holiday which is to be celebrated at the forthcoming weekend.
The umbrella union of public servants already considered the prospect of calling one more 24-hour general strike in the second half of April, representatives of the union said on Tuesday, as pensioners and young unemployed were waving flags and banners, denouncing the "uneven and unfair share of burden."
Protesters repeated, as in every demonstration of the last few months in Athens, that they are not willing to accept the two packages of measures announced by the government, nor the third one that they expect is on the way, after the deal struck in Brussels last week on a support mechanism for Greece by EU and International Monetary Fund.
"Take the measures back" was the main platform of Tuesday's demonstration which ended with minor clashes in the center of Athens and caused a traffic jam for hours.
Earlier in the day hundreds of employees working for local government agencies held a 4-hour stoppage and a smaller protest in front of the Interior Ministry, denouncing the cutbacks on salaries and allowances, while a small group of a labor union blocked the entrance of the Labor Ministry, demanding the urgent financial aid for the unemployed with 1,000 euros.
Minor problems in transports were reported across Greece throughout the day due to stoppages by employees in trains, while many trials in courts were postponed due to the new 48-hour strike of lawyers which started on Tuesday. Greek lawyers reject the new VAT hikes and the new taxation system.
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