Greek unions announce July 16 general strike against government cuts
Greece’s main unions on Wednesday said they would hold a general strike on July 16 to oppose a new round of civil service job cuts announced by the government to secure EU-IMF loans.
“An emergency meeting of the executive committee has decided to call a 24-hour general strike on July 16″ in reaction to a government bill enshrining the layoffs, leading union GSEE said in a statement.
The conservative-led Greek government on Tuesday submitted to parliament a bill detailing the redeployment of civil servants, which has sparked widespread protests.
Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras has reportedly said that parliament must approve the bill by July 19 in order for the heavily indebted country to receive the first instalment of rescue funds from its EU-IMF bailout.
Affecting thousands of teachers, school wardens and municipal staff, the latest cuts have caused fresh outrage in a country undergoing a fourth year of austerity and record unemployment.
Greece has committed to carrying out the reforms in exchange for about 6.8 billion euros ($8.7 billion) in fresh bailout funds from the troika of international creditors — the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
[Image via Agence France-Presse]