Fresh unrest erupts at Greek protests

2013-02-20 18:31
Greece protest (Picture: AP)

Greece protest (Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Athens - Police in Athens fired tear gas at stone-throwing protestors Wednesday as thousands of Greeks walked off the job to join the debt-ridden country's first general strike this year and oppose austerity measures.

About 15 000 striking workers took part in a Communist-organised demonstration in Athens and 20 000 more joined protests organised by other unions, according to police figures.

Another 15 000 people marched in Greece's northern metropolis Thessaloniki, local authorities said.

Protesters tried to firebomb a car in Athens and threw rocks at police, who fired back tear gas, while in the city of Iraklio on the island of Crete, demonstrators overturned a squad car, police said.

In Thessaloniki, a TV crew car was torched and protesters smashed the front windows of pawn shops.

"Unpaid bills, slashed wages and pensions, boarded-up shops. Greek people cannot wait for saviours. Only by taking their fortunes into their own hands can they exit the stalemate," main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, head of the radical leftist Syriza party, told reporters.

The nationwide strike - the first general work stoppage in Greece this year - forced airport authorities to scrap or reschedule dozens of flights while hospitals operated on reduced staffing.

"People of labour must fight for as long as this disastrous policy is followed by the government under orders from [Greece's creditors]," said Yiannis Panagopoulos, chairperson of the private sector union GSEE.

"They have destroyed an entire people," he said.

Ships were to remain docked throughout the day, disrupting ferry services to the islands. And although most public transport was to run, buses and train services expected disruptions.

Doctors, lawyers and teachers took part in the protest action organised by GSEE and the public sector ADEDY.

"Everybody I know is unemployed," said Alexandra Papadatou, a 28-year-old jobless economist.

"I am fighting on the streets for this government, which passes all these measures, to fall," she told AFP.

"I am considered lucky because at least I have a salary, about €600," said Panayiotis Kolovos, a 25-year-old novice lawyer.

"This amount is probably a privilege for the majority of youth near my age. We truly marginally survive," Kolovos said.

Angered

Greece's three-party government insists there is no alternative to the harsh austerity programme demanded by the country's creditors in return for vital loans to stave of bankruptcy.

Successive cuts to salaries and pensions over the past three years have angered Greeks who have frequently taken to the streets to demonstrate their frustration.

The government has pledged to remedy some of the cuts when the economy limps back into growth next year - a prospect that had been originally forecast for this year.

Facing a sixth year of continuous recession, the heavily indebted country has been relying on international rescue packages to avoid bankruptcy and get its economy back on track.

Since 2010 the European Union and the International Monetary Fund have committed €240bn overall in rescue loans to Greece.

Auditors representing Greece's EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund creditors are expected in Athens next week to assess the progress of its programme.

Their report will determine whether Athens will receive a scheduled slice of €2.8bn from its international creditors due in February.

Among its obligations to its creditors, Greece must eliminate 25 000 civil service jobs this year, a measure set to cause further union trouble.

The government has seen its parliamentary majority erode after adopting in November a new €18.5bn round of spending cuts and other reforms by 2016.

The coalition now has 163 deputies in the 300-seat chamber.

- SAPA

Read more on:    imf  |  ecb  |  eu  |  greece  |  europe debt crisis
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.