Fresh violence as Greece embarks on 5th strike

| June 29, 2010 | 0 Comments

Greece continues to rebel against tough austerity measures as the country embarked on its fifth general strike.

Ferries, public transport and other state services came to a standstill to protest against Government plans to cut pension benefits and public servants’ pay.

More than 15,000 people took to the streets in Athens and the northern city of Thessaloniki.

However, the protests were awash with violence after police said seven officers were injured. Two banks and three shops had their windows broken and half a dozen people were arrested.

Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, has so far cut wages for state workers, trimmed some retirement benefits, and raised sales, fuel and alcohol taxes.

The PM said the measures are necessary to trim the country’s budget deficit. Greece is attempting to cut its deficit from 14% of GDP to 3% by 2014.

Last month, a strike resulted in three deaths in Athens after protesters set fire to a bank.

The news comes just a few days after Italian workers staged strikes amid tough austerity measures, introduced by the country’s Government to bring its budget deficit down.

The union, CGIL, called the strike, after cuts were made in funding for local Government, as well as the freezing of public sector pay.

Protests were held in Rome, Milan and Bologna and there was disruption to transport links, while some flights were cancelled in Rome and underground services were affected in Rome and Naples.

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