Greek pensioners have taken to the streets in the capital, Athens, to voice anger at austerity measures taken by the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
Furious at the government’s plans to cut pensions and increase taxes, the demonstrators gathered in central Athens on Thursday and marched on the premier’s office.
The protest came a day after the country’s troubled coalition government announced that it would call a vote of confidence in parliament next week, shortly after Greece’s leftwing opposition, standing against the austerity measures, demanded early elections.
Samaras’ conservative-led coalition could be forced to hold an early election before March as it needs opposition backing in parliament to elect a new president.
“A vote of confidence? What vote of confidence? They have destroyed us all, our rights, everything…. They leave us nothing. What vote of confidence? None of them are trustworthy,” a protester told Press TV.
Referring to the vote of confidence, another demonstrator said the Greek people do not care for another government that will come and apply the same policies, adding, “A government that will solve our problems should come, but up to now we have not seen such a thing.”
The so-called conservatives are behind the anti-bailout opposition Golden Dawn party in opinion polls. Golden Dawn wants the government in Athens to renegotiate the terms of its 240-billion-euro (USD 302.5 billion) bailout deals with the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Inspectors from the European Union and the IMF are now in Greece for their latest review of the country’s bailout program.
The bailout helped Greece refrain from filing for bankruptcy when it lost market access four years ago. However, the harsh austerity measures demanded in return for the loans have caused a dramatic increase in poverty and unemployment in the country.
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