Mass protest planned for May Day in Greece

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Mass protest planned for May Day in Greece

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The largest labour unions in Greece are planning a mass protest for May Day, against austerity measures proposed by the government.

More than half the Greeks surveyed in a poll, that’s just been released, have said they’ll take to the streets if the measures are imposed.

But Prime Minister George Papandreou says cuts are essential if the country is to keep afloat.

They’re the pre-conditions for a loan package, likely to be announced on Sunday.

Union officials said Greece had been asked to cut its deficit by more than 10 percent of GDP by next year, by raising sales tax, freezing civil servant’s wages, and scrapping public sector bonuses that add two months pay to salaries.

“I’m frightened for the future,” one woman, an archaeologist, said. “I’ll probably leave Greece, because there’s nothing available for me in my field.”

“I’m an economist,” another woman said. “I’ve been out of work for a year and a half and I have to live with my parents.”

May Day won’t see the last of the turmoil.

Unions have vowed to step up action, with a four-hour stoppage planned for Tuesday and a nationwide strike set for Wednesday next week.