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Greek state workers block audit talks

Greek state workers block audit talks
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Angry civil servants demonstrating against austerity measures blocked Greek government buildings for a second day on Friday.

Their protests disrupted Greek ministers’ talks with international lenders on the bailout payment Athens needs to prevent it from running out of money.

At the Transport Ministry, government workers prevent a car carrying senior members of an international inspection team from getting there for a meeting with the minister, Yannis Ragousis.

He did later meet them elsewhere he assured them the government would not be swayed by protests.

“At a time when we are asking millions of Greeks to make sacrifices, it is our moral duty not to bow to special interests,” the minister was quoted as saying by an aide.

About 50 civil servants, some holding banners reading “Enough: We Want to Live”, barred access to the Finance Ministry.

A lock-out at the national statistics office ELSTAT forced the agency to postpone publication of two sets of economic indicators on Friday. ELSTAT staff have been on strike since Tuesday. “These measures, which expropriate and dishonour us, must stop,” they said in a statement.

About 70 employees gathered outside the Justice Ministry in response to a visit by troika officials.

Waiving Greek flags, about 50 military veterans broke through an army cordon to enter Defence Ministry premises, protesting at pension cuts.