Press TV
February 21, 2012

In Greece, anti-austerity protests have been held just hours after European Union leaders approved of the country’s new bailout package which calls for more tough spending cuts.

Civil servants and gas station owners gathered outside the ministries of labor and economy, demanding the reduction of taxes on fuel.

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Protesters have also called for the protection of wages and pensions against additional cuts in the austerity plan.

As part of the new austerity plan, some 15,000 public sector workers are expected to lose their jobs.

The cuts are a pre-condition for a second bailout aimed at preventing a default for Greece. The 130-billion euro bailout was agreed on Tuesday, after hours of talks between eurozone finance ministers.

Unemployment currently stands at 20.9 percent in the European state.

Greece’s debt stood at 161.7 percent of the GDP in 2011, which is the highest debt ratio in the eurozone.

The Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency rates Greece at CC, which is almost comparable to a default.

Greece has been the scene of protests and demonstrations since the austerity cuts were first implemented in early 2011.

Many of the rallies have turned violent, leaving scores of the protesters injured.

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