Protesters disrupt 'troika' talks in Athens

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Protesters disrupt 'troika' talks in Athens

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Angry Greek civil servants have again been blocking the doors of government ministries in protest against austerity measures.

They disrupted the start of talks between ministers and senior officials from the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank – the so called “troika”.

Greece’s finance minister, Evangelos Venizelos, had to move to another government office for his meeting with them.

In order to get the next instalment of bailout money – eight billion euros – Venizelos has to convince the troika that Greece is solvent and will implement tough new spending cuts.

The unions do not accept those cut backs, saying the austerity plan should be abolished and the troika should leave Greece.

Union leaders claim the troika is driving workers in the public and private sector into poverty.

The EU, IMF and ECB inspectors left Greece earlier this month, saying Athens was not doing enough to justify the bailouts – in particular it wants more government workers laid off.

As talks restarted, the Greek finance ministry said: “The climate is positive and creative after the tough measures that were decided.”