- Title: GREECE: Hundreds rally in Athens against government austerity plan
- Date: 12th May 2010
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (MAY 11, 2010) (REUTERS) VARIOUS PROTESTERS GATHERING OUTSIDE THE BANK WHERE THREE BANK EMPLOYEES DIED LAST WEEK CANDLES ON BANK'S STEPS PROTESTERS MARCHING HOLDING BANNER READING: WE WILL STOP ANTI-WORKER MEASURES VARIOUS PROTESTERS MARCHING AND CHANTING SLOGANS RIOT POLICE GUARDING PARLIAMENT BUILDING VARIOUS PROTESTERS PASSING BY PARLIAMENT/ BANNERS
- Embargoed: 27th May 2010 13:00
- Location: Greece
- Country: Greece
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA6K3DSGXQCTWJ1HQDH5515DW7
- Story Text: About 500 protesters from various leftist groups marched in Athens on Tuesday (May 11) demanding the government abandon its plan to impose tough austerity measures to clean up its finances.
Protesters gathered outside the bank where three people died last week. Three bank employees died of asphyxiation during massive protests that turned violent on Wednesday (May 5) when petrol bombs were thrown into the bank and it caught fire.
The rally than marched to the square in front of the parliament holding a banner with a pledge to stop "anti-worker measures". Riot police were guarding the parliament building.
The government's austerity plan foresees cuts to public spending and tax increases.
The Greek public is angry over fiscal measures the government took in order to secure a financial aid package from the European Union and IMF. Greece was forced to activate the package, after borrowing on the markets became impossible due to skyrocketing interest rates, to keep it from defaulting.
The International Monetary Fund on Sunday (May 9) unanimously approved a 30 billion euro (40 billion U.S. dollars) much awaited rescue loan for debt-stricken Greece, with 5.5 billion euros being provided immediately to stem a crisis that threatens other euro zone members.
The IMF's three-year loan program is part of a European-led 110 billion euro ($147 billion) financing plan for Greece aimed at averting the euro zone's first sovereign debt default.
Total IMF funding for Greece will amount to about 10 billion euros this year. The European Union will put up another 30 billion euros.
Unions and other workers groups began taking to the streets since the economic measures were announced in February, staging strikes and demonstrations which have crippled the city.
Greek anger stems from the public's argument that for years corrupt politicians have been taking money from the states coffers in various bribery scandals or through political favours and now the public is being called to fill the hole in the country's national debt. This has created a sense that the poor are paying more for the crisis than the rich.
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