Greece has been paralysed by another strike to protest against the latest austerity measures aimed at avoiding financial collapse.
The government has announced further cuts in pensions and more tax rises on top of the first round of cuts last year.
Contract worker Maria Prokopiou said “Right now I haven’t got any money at all. How can I pay? All these measures are very hard. To me, it seems that they are asking for the dead to pay.”
Pensioner Louka Balomenos added “The measures are barbaric, inhumane, the cruellest thing anyone can think of.”
Mental health workers demonstrated outside the finance ministry in Athens. Their funding is being cut and carers fear proper patient care will suffer.
Unions claim staff are already paying heavily.
Christina Fotopoulou, the workers’ vice-president at a regional clinic said “We’ve been working for six years, and we haven’t been paid for the last six months.”
The new round of belt-tightening is designed to secure an eight-billion euro emergency loan so government wages and bills can be paid. Without it, Greece will run out of money in mid-October.
More strikes have been called in the coming weeks.