Occupation du ministère des finances en Grèce – mars 2010

Greek protestors occupy finance ministry


4 mars 2010

ATHENS — Hundreds of communists from Greece’s All-Workers Militant Front on Thursday staged a sit-in at the finance ministry to protest against austerity measures announced by the government.

Around 300 protestors pushed their way past a lone guard early Thursday to gain access to the building and unfurl a banner urging Greeks to « rise up » and thwart the draconian debt-reduction measures.

Some activists also blocked employees from entering the building.

Greece on Wednesday launched a fresh round of austerity measures aimed at reassuring markets and winning crucial European support that analysts say could come soon. Related article: ECB meets on Greek finance crisis

The Socialist government increased sales, tobacco and alcohol taxes and cut public sector holiday allowances to save 4.8 billion euros (6.5 billion dollars), equal to about two percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

Pensions in the public and private sector were also frozen.

Greek finance ministry blockaded


By Kerin Hope in Athens

March 4 201

Angry civil servants shouting “Hands off our bonuses” on Thursday blockaded the main finance ministry building in central Athens as Greek trade unions launched a wave of protests against a new €4.8bn austerity package.

Members of the leftwing Pame union hung a giant banner across the ministry building while George Papaconstantinou, the finance minister, was defending the measures in a parliamentary debate.

Trade union federations announced a four-hour work stoppage and demonstrations in the centre of the capital on Friday, and warned more walk-outs would be staged next week.

“This is just the start of our campaign … these new measures are socially unjust,” said George Peros, a senior Pame member.

Separately, hundreds of former state airline workers blockaded the national accounting office demanding delayed redundancy payments agreed under a €15bn deal with the previous government.

“We’re concerned this government will claim it doesn’t have money to make the payments,” said a former Olympic Airlines engineer.

Greece on Wednesday announced a freeze on pensions, cuts in public sector workers’ bonuses paid at Christmas and Easter and increases in VAT and excise taxes on fuel, tobacco and alcohol.

The measures – adopted following pressure from the European Commission and the European Central Bank – aim to ensure the country can achieve its target of cutting the budget deficit this year by 4 percentage points to 8.7 per cent of gross domestic product.

“This package has been welcomed … there’s a clear improvement in the (international) climate towards Greece,” Mr Papaconstantinou told parliament.

Greece returned to international financial markets on Thursday for the first time in two months to raise €3bn-€5bn through a 10-year syndicated bond issue.

A senior banker said offers totalling €16bn were received. Spreads on the issue fell to 300 basis points over the equivalent German bund – marking a fall of more than 50 basis points since Greece agreed last week to take additional fiscal measures.

Parliament is due to approve the fiscal package on Friday ahead of a meeting in Berlin at which George Papandreou, the prime minister is expected to raise the question of financial assistance for Greece with Angela Merkel, the German chancellor.

The government is still seeking help from its eurozone partners to ensure it can raise €20bn to refinance debt due to expire in April and May.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2010. You may share using our article tools. Please don’t cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.

300 manifestants occupent le ministère des Finances contre les mesures d’austérité


4 mars 2010

Trois cents manifestants communistes du Front de lutte syndical (Pame) occupaient jeudi le ministère des Finances à Athènes pour protester contre les mesures d’austérité annoncées mercredi par le gouvernement pour faire face à la crise, a-t-on appris auprès de la police.

Les syndicalistes communistes ont réussi à entrer dans le ministère tôt jeudi matin, alors qu’un gardien seulement se trouvait dans le bâtiment, puis sont montés sur la terrasse où ils ont déployé une banderole, portant les mots « Soulevez-vous pour que les mesures ne s’appliquent pas ».

Certains d’entre eux se trouvaient devant la porte du ministère et empêchaient les employés d’entrer dans le bâtiment.

Le Pame, émanation de l’ultra-orthodoxe parti communiste (KKE) ainsi que le petit parti de la gauche radicale (Syriza) doivent manifester jeudi soir à Athènes contre les mesures gouvernementales.

Sous la pression de la Commission européenne et des marchés, le gouvernement socialiste a annoncé mercredi un nouveau paquet de mesures d’austérité extraordinaires, dont la hausse de la TVA de deux points et des coupes salariales, afin d’économiser 4,8 milliards d’euros et faire face au grave dérapage des finances publiques.

Le syndicat des fonctionnaires (Adedy) prévoit une grève de 24 heures, la troisième depuis le début de l’année, pour le 16 mars pour protester contre les mesures d’austérité.

~ par Alain Bertho sur 4 mars 2010.

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