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Greece pushes ahead with cuts despite strikes

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Greece pushes ahead with cuts despite strikes


The Greek government’s attempts to pull the country out of its fiscal crisis continue to meet with opposition. After last week’s strike by tax workers, today it is the turn of Greece’s biggest public sector union.

But on the eve of the 24-hour stoppage, the finance minister went ahead and announced a wages freeze and other measures designed to save the state 800 million euros this year.

Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou explained: “The government has clearly said it will do everything it can so that the burden of these fiscal reforms does not fall on the lower income classes and that is what we are doing.”

Greece has pledged to cut a double digit budget deficit that has been feeding a huge debt. Those earning over 60,000 euros a year will bear the brunt of tax reforms while neither the prime minister nor his ministers will receive their annual pay rise.

Today’s union action is set to affect flights, schools and hospitals, although the government does enjoy 65 percent support among the public who back the tougher measures.

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