Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos has delayed a meeting with his coalition leaders over the bailout deal, as he held talks late into the night with private debt holders.
Negotiations with the Institute of International Finance, which represents the private sector, have been focused on forgiving some of the debt.
The meeting with coalition leaders is to approve the the bailout plan being worked out with the troika of EU and IMF negotiators. Papademos was meant to see the leader on Tuesday night but this has been postponed.
Against the backdrop of Tuesday’s general strike, many Greeks feel all these negotiations will not do anything to improve their situations. They believe the deals are focused on making sure Greece can pay its debts at the expense of social welfare.
Yannis Tsouvalakis who lives in Athens said: “They have impoverished us, they have completely impoverished us, we are a bubbling cauldron ready to explode.”
“They’ve turned the country upside down in the last two years, they’ve driven us crazy – in the end, we won’t even be able to find coffee to drink. What can I say about these people, they aren’t people, they are barbarians,” said an angry unemployed Athens resident called Kostas.
The strike is just another manifestation in a series of demonstrations, as ordinary Greeks voice their opposition to austerity measures that will have to be introduced for Greece to get the 130 billion euro rescue package – and avoid a messy default.