Pensioners protesting government cuts in Athens, Greece.
Sat Sep 8, 2012 1:50PM GMT
Protests against austerity measures imposed by the government continue across Greece, as the European Union (EU) struggles with its economic crisis.
Thousands of senior citizens once again marched through central Athens to protest against further pension reductions.
Police, firemen, and coast guards have also protested in the country's second largest city of Thessaloniki.
More protests are expected throughout the day.
Protesters say that the government’s reform plan targets ordinary people, leaving the rich unaffected.
The government in Athens has announced plans to cut the pension of those earning more than 1,000 euros a month by 10 percent. This is while pensions have already been cut by 25 percent over the past two years.
On Tuesday, hundreds of pensioners staging a demonstration near the health ministry stormed the building in Athens in protest against cuts to the country’s healthcare system.
They demanded a meeting with Health Minister Andreas Lykourentzos.
The EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have offered Greece two rescue packages in return for specific austerity measures, which include the cutting of public sector salaries and pensions, increasing taxes, and overhauling the pension system.
The country has promised to cut more than USD 14 billion off its spending over a two-year period starting from 2013 in order to get bailed out by other eurozone countries and the IMF.
Meanwhile, recent figures in Portugal show that its economy has shrunk by 3.3 percent in the second quarter of this year, in comparison with the same period last year.
Its main trading union, the General Confederation of Portuguese Workers (CGTP) has also slammed the government's new austerity measures by calling them a "declaration of war against workers".
The worsening debt crisis has forced the EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.
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