Athens came to a screeching halt Tuesday as workers in Greece went on strike so they could protest the planned job cuts of one thousand in the public sector, this just days before a visit from the finance minister of Germany.
The international lenders who have bailed out Greece approved last week the newest tranche of aid for the country, but tough conditions were stipulated in the agreement in return for the lenders’ assistance.
Included in those conditions is a huge reduction in the civil service sector in the country.
The two largest unions in Greece, which have over 2.5 million members workers, responded by calling for a strike of 24 hours, which cancelled flights, buses and trains throughout the country.
Analysts have warned that the unrest taking place this week in the country could threatened the current coalition government’s stability.
Demonstrations in the capital city and other cities around the country come at an awkward moment for Antonis Samaras, the Prime Minister of Greece, only two days before Wolfgan Schaeuble, the Finance Minister of Germany arrives in the Greek capital.
Thursday’s official visit is expected to bring about even further unrest and protests, highlighting the anger that is widespread amongst the public in Greece towards the creditors and the reforms the lenders have demanded in exchange for aid.
The group of lenders includes the European Central Bank, the International Monetary fund and the European Union. Each want to see over 25,000 workers in the public sector put into a mobility pool prior to yearend.
At that time, those 25,000 will be given up to eight months to find other work or face layoffs.