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22 Apr, 2010 15:52

Protests in Greece – to be continued…

Public workers in Athens have gathered in protest over huge cuts in government funding, demanding an end to what they call "bloodthirsty measures" as wages are reduced and pensions are frozen.

The measures – aimed at slashing the state's deficit – have brought civil servants out on strike, shutting down public services and schools, and leaving hospitals with only emergency staff.

Demonstrators, including members of Communist-backed trade unions, are continuing to blockade the main port of Piraeus, disrupting ferry travel.

Greek civil servants on the Island of Samos are also protesting recent cuts in salaries and the raising of taxes.

One woman said, “The truth is that these measures are against the people – the working people and the labor class of Greece.”

The protests come as IMF officials arrive to discuss a possible bailout with Greek officials. Many are opposed to any bailout from either the EU or the IMF.

Greece is struggling to cope with a $400 billion debt and needs to borrow about $72 billion just for this year.

Journalist Wolfgang Reuter believes it's only a matter of time before Greece is forced to ask the EU and the IMF for a bailout.

“I think that they [the Greek government] will establish a plan and that they will achieve a plan to get the budget in order again,” he added.