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Austerity-hit Greeks scorn bailout deal

Austerity-hit Greeks scorn bailout deal
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There may be sighs of relief in the corridors of power in Brussels at the Greek bailout deal.

Nevertheless, in Athens the agreement brought yet another small protest, against social security cuts and high fuel taxes.

Service station owners want taxes on petrol and heating oil reduced, and wages and pensions protected against further cuts.

The bailout will help Greece avoid bankruptcy, at least for now, but the people can be forgiven for not jumping for joy.

Many see only more austerity as the government struggles to repay its creditors.

“I’m not at all optimistic because I see that all these loans will go back into the pockets of those who made them. All those who gave us money will take it all back. Out of this 130 billion euros, Greece won’t keep even five. So what’s the gain?” said Achilleas Adam, a 67-year-old pensioner.

“What money? The money that they bring will be placed in a safe so they can take the interest. These are loan sharks. What money? Mrs. Merkel – or Hitler? They’ve conquered us!” 65-year-old store owner Christos Kutras said with scorn.

Some newspapers, while welcoming the agreement, stressed that there would be a heavy price to pay.

One said Greece had itself to blame for delays and errors in implementing the previous bailout deal.