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Wednesday, 08 April 2020

Jobless civil servants protest in Athens

AFP , Friday 28 Feb 2014
Protesters chant slogans inside the central office of Labor Force Employment Organization (OAED) in Athens as they demand a meeting with the director, Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 (Photo: AP)
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Hundreds of jobless civil servants on Friday protested in Athens as the government met with EU-IMF creditors to finalise a new round of some 11,500 public sector layoffs.

Teachers, school wardens and cleaners demonstrated outside the ministries of finance and public administration.

Greece has to fire some 11,500 civil servants this year under the terms of its EU-IMF bailout.

In 2013 it axed 3,500 state jobs and redeployed over 20,000 public sector workers, officials said.

"Our pledge was (to eliminate) 15,000 public sector jobs in 2013-2014. This target will be achieved," Public Administration Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told SKAI TV.

The EU-IMF creditors began a new audit of Greek finances on Monday, with Athens hoping for a deal by early March to help it meet debt repayments.

The quarterly audits determine whether or not Greece receives the next instalment of rescue funding.

The present audit has been ongoing, with interruptions, since September.

Hard hit by the economic crisis, Greece is experiencing a sixth year of continuous recession and has a staggering 28 percent unemployment rate.

The so-called 'troika' of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund first bailed out Greece in 2010 with a programme worth 110 billion euros ($151 billion).

When that failed to stabilise the economy, they agreed a much tougher second rescue in 2012 worth 130 billion euros, plus a private sector debt write-off of more than 100 billion euros.

Greece has struggled to meet the terms of this second package but hopes it has now done enough to satisfy the troika, especially in achieving a 'primary budget surplus' -- that is, in the black before debt costs.

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