TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Austerity expands in Greece

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 9:39 p.m.
 

ATHENS — Greece's parliament narrowly approved a new batch of austerity measures early on Thursday, including thousands of public-sector job cuts and transfers, demanded by the country's creditors to keep vital bailout loans flowing.

Lawmakers in the 300-seat house backed the cutbacks in an article-by-article vote, with two of the governing coalition's 155 deputies failing to back crucial articles.

It was the first major test for conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras since a left-wing party abandoned his coalition government last month.

Greece has been kept out of bankruptcy since it started receiving rescue loans in 2010 from the International Monetary Fund and other countries using the euro, but austerity measures imposed in return have caused a dramatic increase in poverty and unemployment.

The new legislation will put 12,500 public-sector staff, mostly teachers and municipal workers, in a program that subjects them to involuntary transfers and possible dismissals. It will pave the way for 15,000 layoffs by the end of next year.

City halls across the country have been closed this week, with uncollected trash piling up on the streets, and unions held a general strike on Tuesday against the proposed cuts.

“I fully understand the hardship the Greek people are going through during the great crisis,” Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said during the debate. “But I am fully convinced that the path we have chosen is correct.”

About 3,000 people protested outside parliament in central Athens before the vote, chanting anti-austerity slogans in a third consecutive day of protests.

But the reaction — in the midst of the summer holiday season — was subdued compared to previous, often violent demonstrations that brought tens of thousands into the streets.

The measures include a ban of all demonstrations in the city center, including the area outside parliament that has been the focus of past violent protests.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Yemen signs peace deal with Shiite rebels
  2. Turks, fleeing Kurds battle as Islamic State besieges town in Iraq
  3. Pakistan eyeing sea-based and short-range nuclear weapons, analysts say
  4. Libyan clashes could endanger oil exports
  5. Unity agreement eases Afghanistan’s political crisis
  6. Thousands march in Moscow against Ukraine fighting
  7. 100 tons of supplies to fight Ebola sent to West Africa
  8. Economic powers at odds on stimulus as G20 gathers
  9. It’s not a small world after all: Global population estimated to soar
  10. Mementos unearthed at Nazi death camp in Poland
  11. Egyptian President al-Sisi feels vindicated in crackdown as Islamic extremists rise
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.