- Title: GREECE: Supporters of the communist party demonstrate over austerity
- Date: 29th September 2011
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (SEPTEMBER 28 2011) (REUTERS) THOUSANDS OF PROTESTERS WALKING IN MARCH TOWARDS FINANCE MINISTRY VARIOUS OF THE SUPPORTERS WALKING IN STREETS VARIOUS OF SUPPORTERS STANDING AROUND MINISTRY, SQUARE IN FRONT OF MINISTRY FILLED WITH SUPPORTERS, PARLIAMENT BEHIND THEM VARIOUS OF SUPPORTERS WAVING FLAGS OF THE COMMUNIST LABOUR MOVEMENT VARIOUS OF NOTIFICATION SLIPS FOR THE SOLIDARITY TAX MADE INTO A CHAIN AND HANGING ON POLES HELD BY PROTESTERS (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) COMMUNIST PARTY SUPPORTER CONSTANTINOS KARAMANOLAKIS, PENSIONER, 65, SAYING "We find ourselves in a very difficult situation, the people need to conduct large and organised demonstrations, I don't think there is any other solution at this point. We have reached the bottom of the barrel and we need to look at what we can do so that the people are saved from the barbaric measures." (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) COMMUNIST PARTY SUPPORTER KOSTAS MARKOU, 76, PENSIONER, SAYING "Every worker has to realiSe that the illusion is over, if workers want to see better days then they must join the battle." VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS GATHERED BEFORE START OF RALLY VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATORS STANDING IN FRONT OF BANNER READING "Refuse to Pay. Organized Public Disobedience."
- Embargoed: 14th October 2011 13:00
- Location: Greece, Greece
- Country: Greece
- Topics: Politics,Education
- Reuters ID: LVAAXC54BYZLK8IK71DVB09G156Y
- Story Text: Communist party supporters were out in force on Wednesday (Sept 28) to voice their anger and opposittion to the government austerity reform program which they say has destroyed workers standard of living.
The Communist Party supporters have been at the forefront of protests this year and the party voted against the bailout programme.
"We find ourselves in a very difficult situation, the people need to conduct large and organised demonstrations, I don't think there is any other solution at this point. We have reached the bottom of the barrel and we need to look at what we can do so that the people are saved from the barbaric measures," said Communist Party supporter Constantinos Karamanolakis, a 65-year old pensioner.
The protesters had hung their notification slips for the solidarity tax - a one off charge to be taken from wages, to help bring down the debt, on lines on poles, while a huge banner read: "refuse to pay."
"Every worker has to realise that the illusion is over, if workers want to see better days then they must join the battle," pensioner Kostas Markou, said.
Their protest was one of many on Wednesday as Greece awaits the troika - inpsectors of the European Union, International Monetary Fund, and European Central Bank.
The government promised even tougher austerity measures to meet its bailout targets, after the EU/IMF mission had left Greece on Sept 2, after the government failed to convince them it was doing enough in terms of deficit cuts and economic reforms to deserve further payments under its 110 billion euro bailout agreed last year.
The inspectors' departure prompted talk about a sovereign Greek default. The Socialist government decided to cut public sector salaries by a fifth, start civil servant firings, and impose an extra tax on property owners.
The one-off property tax, the first in a string of austerity measures to face the test of lawmakers' approval, sailed through parliament late on Tuesday, with all the Socialist party's 154 deputies solidly backing the measure without a single defection. The opposition parties, including the Communists voted against it.
The ruling PASOK party is trailing the Conservative opposition by 5.8 points, according to the latest opinion poll. But both parties garner less than 25 percent of the vote respectively. The Communists are supported by an average six to eight percent of voters.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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