After a May Day of protests across Greece to demonstrate against a proposed raft of austerity measures. The Prime Minister George Papandreou is preparing to announce a series of hard-hitting cost-cutting measures totalling some 24 billion euros, which will include freezing public-sector salaries, raising taxes and slashing pensions to secure access to an IMF/euro zone aid package worth 120 billion euros.
Euro zone finance ministers are due to discuss the situation later today , the French Economy Minister is Christine Lagarde:
“We noted the negotiations in progress at the moment between the (EU) Commission, the IMF and the Greek government. Clearly there is good progress underway, and I certainly hope that it will be conclusive before the end of the weekend”
Thousands took to the streets of the capital Athens in a largely peaceful protest however, groups confronted police, threw Molotov cocktails and set two TV broadcast vans alight.
The authorities are now preparing for Wednesday’s general strike and fear yet more civil unrest once the spending cuts begin to bite.