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Europe Demands More Austerity Measures From Greece As Critical Bond Auction Looms
February 23, 2010
A delegation consisting of EU, ECB and IMF “experts” came to Greece, saw and said “more cuts.” Greece, in turn, is doing all it can to soft circle enough support to come to market with a €3-5 billion 10 year bond issue, and has no option but to oblige. The troubled PIIGS member has so far proposed a 5.5% maximum cut in gross salaries to civil servants via entitlement cuts, while the EU is now suggesting an average 7% cut. How this will be accepted by Greece’s already striking unions, whose protesters earlier barricaded and shut down the primary building of the Athens Stock Exchange, is unknown but will hardly inspire enthusiasm for wage cutting programs.
As Dow Jones reports:
Already, public-sector umbrella union ADEDY and its private-sector counterpart, GSEE, have announced plans for a 24-hour general strike Wednesday.
The strike is seen as the first major test of the government’s commitment to push through its harsh austerity program. So far, the government has resisted demands by farm groups seeking further handouts, while separate strikes by tax collectors and customs officials have been called off or else ruled illegal.
Here are more details on what the revised austerity package may end up looking like:
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