New strikes in Greece against austerity: unions

AFP , Wednesday 21 Sep 2011

Greek unions plan strikes in October against further austerity cuts following an Greek Finance Minister's announcement that Greece will do anything to remain in the EU

Greek unions on Wednesday announced a general strike on October 19 and a nationwide civil service strike on October 5 against austerity cuts designed to secure a last-minute EU-IMF debt rescue.

The main private sector union GSEE and the Adedy syndicate representing civil servants called for the mobilisation as the government was locked in talks with its international creditors for funds to avert a looming bankruptcy.

"Civil servants will hold a strike on October 5 and both the public and private sector will strike on October 19," a GSEE official told AFP.

Sweeping spending cuts and tax hikes have been enacted in Greece for nearly two years as the country struggles to apply a tough economic overhaul in return for bailout loans from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Earlier on Wednesday, and with additional funds at risk from fiscal slippage, the government said further sacrifices would have to be made.

"We will do anything, we will not place at risk the fate of the country and its place in the eurozone," Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos told parliament.

"More measures are needed. We are negotiating not only the budgets for 2011 and 2012 but the entire mid-term (adjustment) programme for 2013 and 2014," he said.

Short link: