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Greeks join nationwide strike over new round of bailout reforms

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Greeks join nationwide strike over new round of bailout reforms

 

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A man crosses railway tracks on his bicycle during a 24-hour general strike in Athens, Greece, May 17, 2017. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

 

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek ferry, bus and train services were disrupted and civil servants and doctors stopped work in nationwide walkout on Wednesday, as lawmakers debated austerity measures that lenders want the indebted country to implement.

 

The protest strike was called by the main public and private sector unions a day before parliament was due to vote on reforms that would unlock the next tranche of funds from an 86-billion-euro bailout.

 

Greece agreed this month on further spending cuts to end a logjam in talks with lenders. Once the new measures are approved by Greek lawmakers, Euro zone finance ministers will then discuss the disbursement of loans at the next scheduled Eurogroup meeting on May 22.

 

Athens needs the funds urgently to repay 7.5 billion euro (6.33 billion pounds) in debt maturing in July.

 

As part of the reforms, Athens has promised to cut pensions in 2019 and cut the tax-free threshold in 2020 to produce savings worth 2 percent of gross domestic product.

 

If it outperforms those targets, it will activate a set of measures offsetting the impact of additional austerity, including mainly lowering taxes.

 

Greece has needed three multi-billion bailouts since 2010 and additional spending cuts are a contentious issue for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

 

"We have been fooled. We believed in their promises," said Nikos Moustakas, 71, a retired mechanic who worked for 38 years. 

"They have lost me as a voter," he said.

 

Tsipras was first elected in 2015 on a pledge to end austerity but was forced to relent months later in order to agree a new bailout package to stave off bankruptcy.

 

Tsipras is trailing in opinion polls, but his governing coalition has a small, but firm majority in the 300-member parliament.

 

(Reporting by Michele Kambas and George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-05-17

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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, biggles45 said:

"Athens needs the funds urgently to repay 7.5 billion euro (6.33 billion pounds) in debt maturing"

 

Does this mean that they havn't repaid the previous EU bail out loans ? Would you lend them money ? 

No one should lend Greece money. Not now and not when they entered the Eurozone, either. But some very large banks foolishly did. And when the crash came, they, not Greece, were bailed out by some wealthy Eurozone nations.  When banks lend foolishly, they deserve the consequences. Greece should have been allowed to exit the Eurozone. As it is, now they are,in effect, repaying the wealthy nations that bailed out their banks.

Edited by ilostmypassword
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Just now, champers said:

Looks like a good endorsement for Brexit. 

Actually not.  The UK wisely chose not to adopt the Euro.

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34 minutes ago, ilostmypassword said:

Actually not.  The UK wisely chose not to adopt the Euro.

Even though they kept the Pound they would still be on the hook along with the rest of the EU to keep pouring money into Greece.

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1 hour ago, ilostmypassword said:

No one should lend Greece money. Not now and not when they entered the Eurozone, either. But some very large banks foolishly did. And when the crash came, they, not Greece, were bailed out by some wealthy Eurozone nations.  When banks lend foolishly, they deserve the consequences. Greece should have been allowed to exit the Eurozone. As it is, now they are,in effect, repaying the wealthy nations that bailed out their banks.

The money was loaned to both the banks and the Greek government with the stipulations that the Greek government reform many of their costly, extremely liberal programs.The Greeks just want the EU to keep giving them money while not changing their life style .Kind of sounds like the liberal democrats in The US. Gimme,gimme,gimme

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53 minutes ago, ilostmypassword said:

Actually not.  The UK wisely chose not to adopt the Euro.

And now we have chosen, belatedly but equally wisely, to jump the sinking ship before it goes down with all hands and only Germans in the lifeboats.

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22 hours ago, webfact said:

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek ferry, bus and train services were disrupted and civil servants and doctors stopped work in nationwide walkout on Wednesday, as lawmakers debated austerity measures that lenders want the indebted country to implement.

 

Yes the lenders want their last pound of flesh over and over again there will be no end to your misery. Even if you go to the polls and elect another government they will cave in like the last one did. They will pick you clean. Picture yourselves strapped to a bed with plastic hoses running out from cuts in your body. You are of course bound so you do not get up and leave. They want their 10 pieces of silver. There is no one on deck to cast them out. I also see you are now part of the Chinese Silk Road program. Indenturehood at best. Slavery at worst. 

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Strike away. The gravy train is over and it's time to join the real world.

 

BTW, the piper plays the tune, not the audience.

 

They should have cut Greece loose at the beginning. They faked the books to join- self inflicted injury.

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3 hours ago, ilostmypassword said:

No one should lend Greece money. Not now and not when they entered the Eurozone, either. But some very large banks foolishly did. And when the crash came, they, not Greece, were bailed out by some wealthy Eurozone nations.  When banks lend foolishly, they deserve the consequences. Greece should have been allowed to exit the Eurozone. As it is, now they are,in effect, repaying the wealthy nations that bailed out their banks.

 

Greece and one or two others should never have been allowed to enter the Eurozone and adopt the Euro. They didn't really meet the financial requirements. But they lied and the auditing big accountancy firms either colluded in that lie or were incompetent. Then certain big banks, I'd suggest possible with the blessings of their governments, lent money to the Greeks. 

 

Once things go sour, it's the EU taxpayers, in some countries more than others, who pick up the tab. Certain governments won't let certain banks fail or suffer badly; and those charged with ensuring the soundness of the initial entrance criteria seem never to be held accountable.

 

This untouchability of banks, the big international accountancy firms, and their own wealth increase is something capitalism seems to regard as sacrosanct.

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1 minute ago, thaibeachlovers said:

^^ It's no wonder that I want to squeeze the rich till they cry for mercy and then squeeze them some more.

 

Oh, and to add insult to injury . The Kleptocrats are using the funds of the ill gotten gains to buy Greece for pennies on the dollar.

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BANGKOK 19 October 2017 15:54
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