Greece Austerity Protests Grow

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Greece Austerity Protests Grow

Post by Admin on Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:02 pm


ATHENS, June 5 (Reuters) - Tens of thousands Greeks rallied in central Athens on Sunday to denounce politicians, bankers and tax dodgers, as the government prepared to inflict another bout of austerity demanded by its international lenders.

"Thieves - hustlers - bankers," read one banner as more than 50,000 people packed the main Syntagma square outside parliament to vent their frustration over rising joblessness as austerity bites, blaming the crisis on political corruption.

Turnout was the biggest so far in a series of 12 nightly rallies on the square inspired by Spain's protest movement.

Amidst a sea of splayed hands waved at the parliament building -- an offensive gesture for Greeks -- one demonstrator raised a placard reading "Bravo Yemen", whose president underwent surgery in Saudi Arabia for injuries suffered in a rocket attack on his palace.

Police put the crowd at 50,000 by mid-evening, but numbers continued to grow as dusk fell over the Greek capital. Another banner drew comparisons with rallies early this year in central Cairo which ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. "From Tahrir Square to Syntagma Square, we support you!" it said.

The cabinet of Prime Minister George Papandreou is due to discuss on Monday an economic plan, which a senior government official said would impose 6.4 billion euros of budget measures this year alone, on top of austerity already imposed under Greece's original international bailout agreed last year.
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