Greek ‘human chain’ protest delays talks with lenders
The talks with inspectors from the ‘troika’ of European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund were scheduled to start at 1000 GMT, but had yet to get under way over an hour later as the protesters refused to leave.
Dozens from the Communist-aflliated PAME union chanted anti-austerity slogans and unfurled banners reading “Troika, IMF, ECB – Get out of here!” outside the ministry’s main entrance.
“We’re trying to find a way to get the troika officials into the ministry,” a government official said.
The semi-official Athens News Agency said the meeting would start soon.
Angry Greeks are lining up a string of protests against a new round of belt-tightening demanded by the lenders as the price for continued aid to avoid bankruptcy.
The country’s two biggest unions say they plan a general strike this month, while teachers, tax officials and tourism workers are among various groups planning strikes and other work stoppages this week.
The package of EU/IMF-mandated spending cuts worth nearly 12 billion euros over the next two years will further slash wages and pensions of Greeks already reeling from previous rounds of austerity. Read more…