Greeks Launch 48-Hour Strike Over New Cuts
Parliament votes tomorrow on bailout-linked austerity measures
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Nov 6, 2012 6:32 AM CST
A woman walks past closed shops at the main commercial Athens' Ermou street on Tuesday Nov. 6, 2012.   (AP Photo/Nikolas Giakoumidis)

(Newser) – Greeks today launched a 48-hour general strike in protest of new spending cuts, with an estimated 2 million people—from lawyers to hospital employees—taking part. The union-organized strike has shut down banks, schools, and public transportation as Parliament prepares vote on the cuts tomorrow. It must support the austerity measures in order to continue receiving bailout money, and the measures appear likely to squeak through. But that's not exactly making legislators popular with protesters: "They should go to hell and beyond," says a 65-year-old pensioner.

"They should ask me how I feel when I have to go to church to beg for food. I wouldn't hurt a fly, but I would happily behead one of them." Officials say these are the last cuts that the country will have to endure, but Greeks may not believe it, Reuters notes. "We promised to avert the country's exit from the euro and this is what we are doing. We have given absolute priority to this, because if we do not achieve this, everything else will be meaningless," says Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. The three-party coalition's smallest party, the Democratic Left, has rejected the cuts, notes the BBC. Samaras needs 151 votes to pass the measure; he currently appears to have 154. But if any more members of the Socialist Pasok party abandon the plan, he could face trouble.

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Showing 3 of 3 comments
Nov 7, 2012 5:39 AM CST
Greece has a major 1% problem. The 1% ultra-wealthy "elite" steal and plunder and pay no taxes. Then when the economy goes phut they blame the workers. And the bailout and austerity measures hit the workers and do not address the real wrongs. THAT's why the anti-austerity measure protests in Greece are so vehement.
Nov 6, 2012 8:12 AM CST
Coming to a country near you. Yes, let's have four more years of Mr. financial trainwreck.
Nov 6, 2012 7:16 AM CST
Greeks protest new cuts by launching Greek uppercuts.