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Greeks protest ahead of parliamentary vote on new job cuts

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Greek workers march in protest during a day of general strike in Athens on July 16, 2013.

Tens of thousands of Greek public sector workers have staged a new day of protest ahead of a parliamentary vote that would facilitate the layoff of thousands of workers.

The Wednesday protest gathered municipal workers and mayors in Athens just before lawmakers sit to vote a bill that will put 4,200 civil servants under so-called redeployment, subjecting them to involuntary transfers and possible dismissals.

The protesters called on lawmakers to drop the bill.

Greece has been required by its international lenders, including the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to undertake certain measures in order to receive EUR 6.8 billion (USD 8.9 billion) in fresh aid.

By the end of this year, some 25,000 civil servants must be redeployed overall and an additional 4,000 fired in order for the country to receive the tranche in bailout rescue loans.

The Wednesday protest came a day after a general strike which shut down municipal service, including public transport and medical work.

Greece is experiencing its sixth year of recession, which has forced it to impose harsh austerity measures over the past four years in return for multi-billion-euro international bailouts to avoid defaulting on its debt.

The measures are deeply unpopular among the population as citizens have seen their pensions cut and their salaries reduced by up to 40 percent.

Furthermore, the country’s overall unemployment rate has reached a level not seen in its modern history as it stands at 27 percent; the rate is at a shocking 64 percent among the youth.


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