Tear gas fired at Greek anti-austerity protest
- Author: Zachary Reyes May 18, 2017,
May 18, 2017, 2:32
While many Greeks have swallowed the bitter pills of previous austerity measures, what incensed the striking workers on Wednesday was news that numerous cost-cutting rules will be extended beyond the terms of the country's most recent rescue package. Labor Unions will hold a nationwide general strike on Wednesday, to protest new austerity measures as Greece struggles t.
Greek workers walked off the job across the country Wednesday for an anti-austerity general strike that was disrupting public and private sector services across the country.
Air traffic controllers have said they will join the strike on Wednesday, stopping work for four hours. Register now for the free webinar.
With Thursday night's Parliament vote on a fresh batch of highly unpopular measures expected to take an even heavier toll on the government's standing, it has launched a frantic effort to shift the focus to the positives - namely what it insists are imminent debt relief measures from the country's creditors.
Chief European economist at Capital Economics, Jennifer McKeown said Greece's return to recession highlighted "the damage done by stalled bailout negotiations and suggests the Government's newly-updated economic forecasts are far too optimistic".
Greece is desperate for a cash injection to make payments on bonds that mature this summer. Not a single ferry is to depart from ports in the Aegean Sea during the stoppage, meaning that islands without an airport will effectively be cut off.
These figures have come about just as the Greek unions are beginning two days of industrial action against cuts to pensions and tax rises which are insisted on by creditors.
Greece, which has been warding off bankruptcy over the past seven years, must in July repay more than 7 billion euros to the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
While the country's finances have improved under the bailouts and the strict supervision they imposed, the belt-tightening has led to spiralling poverty and unemployment rates. The move, Greek officials said, is contingent on lenders specifying how the country could restructure an existing mountain of debt, which at 179 percent of gross domestic product is the highest in the euro zone.