Athens, December 12 (RHC)-- Tens of thousands of Greek teachers have taken to the streets of the capital Athens to protest against government cuts to their income. The demonstration took place as the Greek government resumed talks with its international creditors, whose report on the country's progress in implementing harsh austerity measures will determine the release of a new package of financial aid worth one billion Euros.
Meanwhile, Greek doctors are observing a 24-hour strike to protest against the mergers of state hospitals and cuts to their incomes caused by the government’s implementation of austerity measures. The teachers at the demonstration said they are struggling to survive because of their meager income. During the last three years of severe austerity measures, wages and pensions have been cut by about forty percent, while minimized education and health care budgets have pushed Greek teachers, students, doctors and patients into dire straits.
Greece has been at the epicenter of the Eurozone debt crisis and is experiencing its sixth year of recession, while harsh austerity measures have left about half a million people without jobs. The country is under pressure from the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank, and European Commission, known as the troika, to suspend workers or reduce their salaries. Athens has implemented tax and salary reforms that are blamed for the country’s deep recession.
One in every four Greek workers is currently unemployed and banks are in a shaky position. Greek youths have also been badly affected, and more than half of them are unemployed.