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Anti-auterity protesters occupy Greek Finance Ministry

 
 
 
 
 
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Greek anti-austerity activists have occupied the Finance Ministry building in the capital, Athens, in protest of new austerity measures dictated by international creditors.

The protesters took down the European Union (EU) flag waving over the building and put up a banner with portrays of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras alongside his predecessors, George Papandreou and Antonis Samaras, reading “We have bled enough, we have paid enough.”

The banner set up by the pro-Communist Pame trade union not only suggests that Greece has already done enough to meet the international creditors’ demands, but also implies that the new leftist government and the former socialist and reformist governments of the predecessors are all headed in the same direction.

Meanwhile, more protest rallies have been planned by organizers in Athens and other cities for Thursday.

Also on Thursday, Prime Minister Tsipras is meeting with European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels to hammer out a bailout deal aimed at preventing Athens from going bankrupt.

The anti-austerity Syriza party of the premier won Greek elections in January pledging to ease the hardships caused by the austerity measures imposed on Athens under two international bailouts since 2010.

Opinion polls indicate that 53 percent of voters who chose Syriza favored exiting the debt negotiations with the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF), while 50.2 percent of all respondents in the Marc poll for Alpha TV said they preferred the government to reach an agreement with the international creditors.

Greece`s creditors have refused to give Athens the final 7.2 billion euros ($8.1 billion) remaining of the country`s promised bailout until Greek authorities pay the price by implementing the reforms they demand.

If cash-strapped Greece fails to receive the loan, it will be unable to cover its foreign debts and thus be forced to exit the euro bloc.

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