Thousands of Greeks marched through Athens today in the fourth general strike of the year to protest planned pension cuts and other austerity measures the government pledged to secure emergency European financing to avoid default.
Police estimated that between 15,000 and 20,000 protesters marched to parliament in central Athens, some waving banners that read, “Hands off our pensions!” The strike was the first since three people were killed on May 5 after demonstrators set fire to a bank in the capital. About 1,500 police officers were deployed, with officers stopping protesters around Exarchia, a stronghold of the anarchists police blame for the May 5 mayhem.
“It is incomprehensible, outrageous, unacceptable to cut pensions of 600 euros, 700 euros,” spokesman Stathis Anestis of the General Confederation of Labor, or GSEE, told protesters. “At the same time, those who owe the pension funds and have looted the pension funds are immune; no one has gone to jail.”
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