From: “Freenations” <[email protected]>
Date: July 19, 2013 1:06:07 AM PDT (CA)
Subject: German politicians not safe in Greece
BBC Report (even they are waking up!) Not for the first time a lock down of central Athens is needed as German rulers and democracy destroyers visit Athens!!
Athens security tight as German minister Schaeuble visits
Municipal police officers mingled with school caretakers protesting against the fresh austerity measures outside parliament, but the vote narrowly passed
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A security cordon has been thrown around the Greek capital ahead of a visit by the German finance minister, a leading proponent of austerity.
Wolfgang Schaeuble will arrive hours after a bill that will see thousands of public sector workers lose their jobs scraped through parliament.
The bill is tied to new bailout loans worth 6.8bn euros (£5.8bn), needed to keep the Greek government afloat.
In central Athens, protests have been banned and metro stations closed.
The moves follow protests of up to 5,000 outside the Greek parliament during Thursday’s vote, and a recent series of strikes against the latest cuts.
The coalition government led by conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras says it has no choice but to enforce further painful adjustment.
Thursday’s ban on protests will prohibit more than three people from holding banners and shouting slogans, and will be in force from 09:00 to 20:00 local time (06:00 to 17:00 GMT), reports said.
It was described by Greece’s main left-wing opposition party, Syriza, as “fascist and undemocratic”.
Mr Schaeuble will meet Mr Samaras and other Greek officials on his first visit to Greece since the debt crisis exploded in 2009.
\Correspondents say he is viewed bitterly as a champion of the austerity policies which have gripped Greece over the past four years. During that time, Greece has received two bailouts worth more than 240m euros, but at the cost of wage cuts, tax rises and unemployment that now stands at 27%.
MPs backed the latest measures by 153 to 140 in the vote late on Wednesday.
Under the bill, more than 4,000 state employees, including teachers and local government workers, face dismissal this year.
In addition, 25,000 will be put into a “mobility pool” by the end of the year.
The employees will have an eight-month period on 75% of their salaries in which to seek redeployment, by which point, if they are not transferred to another department, they will face redundancy.
Many Greeks believe that once in the pool, they will inevitably become jobless.
It is thought up to 11,000 could lose their jobs by the end of 2014, to comply with the demands of the so-called troika of creditors – the European Union, European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was congratulated by MPs after the vote
Before Wednesday’s vote, protesters outside parliament expressed their outrage at the measures – the orange jackets of school caretakers mingling with the khaki uniforms of municipal police officers, who also face suspension and possible dismissal.
“I’ve been a school guard for 13 years and suddenly we find out we have no job. They say we’ll be suspended. But that means we’ll be fired,” 47-year-old Maria Denida, who had travelled from the northern city of Thessaloniki to demonstrate, told the Associated Press news agency.
“All of us have kids, unemployed people at home, and bills we can’t pay. We were getting 780 euros a month. And if we lose that, we’re finished,” she said, her voice cracking with emotion.
This was the latest in a week of angry protests including demonstrations and strikes which have seen abandoned rubbish piling up in the streets.
But Prime Minister Samaras defended the measures in a surprise television statement on Wednesday.
“Better days will come for our people,” he said.
“We will not let up. We will climb uphill and reach the end, which is not far.”
He also announced a 10% cut in restaurant sales tax – from 23% to 13% – to boost the tourist season, but cautioned the old rate could be restored if Greece’s notoriously high levels of tax evasion persisted.
The trouble is that despite all the measures that have been taken, Greece’s debt is still regarded as unsustainably high, the BBC’s Chris Morris in Athens reports.
He says that sooner or later, a new debate will have to begin, about writing off another chunk of the debt. And that could mean that other countries in the eurozone – who have lent huge amounts to Greece – will not get all their money back.
From: “Freenations” <[email protected]>