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Greek civil service workers go on strike over massive layoffs

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Protesters attend a demonstration in Athens, Greece, July 8, 2013.

Tens of thousands of Greek municipal workers have staged a strike to protest against the massive public sector layoffs enacted by the government in order to secure promised loans.

Greek civil servants including policemen and schoolteachers took to the streets outside the Administrative Reform Ministry in Athens on Monday, as the government prepared to justify layoffs to meet bailout conditions set by the troika of international creditors — the European Commission, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Athens agreed last week to transfer some 4,000 municipal officers to the police force, a cost-cutting move which unionists fear will lead to massive layoffs.

By the end of this year, some 25,000 civil servants overall must be redeployed and an additional 4,000 fired in order for the country to receive access to further payout of approximately 8.1 billion euros (USD 10.4 billion) in bailout rescue loans.

Meanwhile, eurozone finance ministers along with IMF chief Christine Lagarde met in the Belgium capital of Brussels on Monday, to decide whether Greece has fulfilled its conditions.

Greece has already missed a reform deadline that would allow it to access the next tranche of bailout funds.

Athens was granted a 110-billion-euro (USD 145-billion) bailout by the so-called troika in May 2010.

Another 130-billion euro (USD 170-billion) rescue package was approved in February 2012.


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