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Greek Anger, Protests After Fresh Austerity Cuts

Common Dreams staff

Thousands of Greeks took to the streets throughout the country today after Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced a final round of austerity measures containing deep cuts to the public budget.

The new round of austerity measures in the country included large cuts to pension funds and public sector wages. According to Irish Times, "Of the spending cuts targeted in this latest round of belt-tightening, €4.6 billion is earmarked from reduced pensions, €1.4 billion from health, €1.3 billion from state salaries and €1.27 billion from public administration. However, the country, which spends the most on arms per capita in Europe, will only cut €517 million from its military budget under the proposals."

Samaras stated that the cuts were made in a bid to gain another Euro based loan installment, worth 31.5 billion euro ($39.9 billion) from the so-called troika of the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank.

Conservative estimates say over 15,000 protesters marched Saturday against the fresh austerity measures including five separate marches in the northern city of Thessaloniki. Protesters were met with a large police presence of roughly 3,500 officers deployed in the streets.

The main trade unions, opposition parties including the radical left Syriza Party and communist activists all joined the protests.

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