Monday, June 13, 2011

Greek protesters banging pots and pans during anti-government rally - Thessaloniki, Greece

Defying torrential rain and the siren call of the country's beaches thousands of indignant Greeks massed once more for the third Sunday in a row to show their anger over the latest austerity mesures which the ruling PASOK government aims to get through parliament this week.

With the imposition of poll tax on those earning 8,000 euros and more combined with yet further increases in VAT (sales tax) and extra indirect taxation via power bills prime minister Giorgos Papandreou is attempting to staunch Greece's hemorraghing public finances and satisfy demands for action by the troika of creditors made up of the IMF, EU and European Central Bank.

On the other side of the equation stands a sizeable chunk of Greek public opinion, with according to some polls 90% of the electorate opposed to further measures. In the latest poll carried out by the Greek public opinion research company Public Issue found that over two million Greeks have taken part in some form of anti-government protest. Even within the ruling PASOK party 16 MPs have broken ranks and called upon their leader to allow more debate on the latest legislation which threatens to unleash further social unrest.

Greek protesters Greek protesters chanting ant-government slogans during anti-government rally - Thessaloniki, Greece

For the 19th day running protesters gathered in streets and square nationwide with calls for the government to leave power and the country to stop all payments on debt owed. In the northern port city of Thessaloniki around 5,000 marched through the city despite repeated downpours.

More mass demonstrations have been called for Wednesday to coincided with the national strike called by public and private sector trade unions with plans to encircle parliament and other government buildings across the country.

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