TribLIVE

| USWorld


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

Austerity expands in Greece

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

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.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Quake-aid need acute in Nepal; death toll passes 4,000
  2. Employees of Mercer County-based manufacturer among missing in Nepal
  3. Airstrikes hit capital as fighting escalates in Yemen
  4. Israel thwarts terrorist attack
  5. United States aided rebels in Caucasus, Russian President Putin claims
  6. British Prime Minister Cameron defends royal couple’s private medical care choice
  7. Mexicans pin hopes on anti-corruption measures approved by Congress
  8. Aftershocks terrify survivors of quake in Nepal that killed 2,500
  9. Japan Prime Minister Abe to highlight trade, defense ties with U.S. in speech before Congress
  10. EU foreign ministers to meet after latest migrant tragedy
  11. Former Egyptian president Morsy given 20 years for inciting violence