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Greek union calls general strike for Nov 6, says unemployment has reached "nightmare" levels

ATHENS, Greece - Greece's largest labour union has called a general strike for Nov. 6, warning that unemployment has reached "nightmare" levels and that working rights are continually eroded by austerity measures. The GSEE union called the 24-hour protest Wednesday in its latest attempt to halt government cuts imposed as part of Greece's 240 billion-euro ($325 billion) bailout agreements. The cuts are meant to reduce debt, but have hurt the economy and pushed the jobless rate to nearly 28 per cent.

Greece's private sector to go on strike next month

Greece's main private sector union GSEE on Wednesday called a 24-hour strike for November 6 as part of ongoing protests against the government's austerity policies. "We protest against the nightmare of unemployment and the deregulation of the labour market... the new draft budget is slashing what is left of our rights," GSEE said in a statement. Communist-affiliated group Pame has also called a strike for the same day.

Unemployment rate in Greece edges up to 27.6 per cent in July from 27.5 per cent previous month

ATHENS, Greece - Greece's unemployment rate is continuing to climb, reaching 27.6 per cent in July compared with a revised 27.5 per cent a month earlier. The national statistical authority said Thursday that 1.36 million people were without a job in July, up ten per cent from a year earlier. The conservative-led government expects modest jobs growth next year. But even then, it forecasts unemployment to remain high, at an average 26 per cent compared with 27 per cent for this year.

Greece resumes talks with its creditors; issues to include privatizations

ATHENS, Greece - Greece resumed talks with its creditors to review progress in stabilizing the indebted country's finances. Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras met for more than four hours Sunday with representatives of the so-called troika of creditors — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. At stake is the continuation of the financing of Greece by the creditors, including a €1 billion ($1.35 billion) bailout installment to be paid in October.

Greek state workers strike against firings before troika visit

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek workers shut schools and forced hospitals to operate with only emergency staff on Wednesday at the start of a 48-hour strike against the latest plans to fire thousands of public sector employees. Efforts to shrink the 600,000-strong civil service, long seen as wasteful and corrupt, have been resisted by labor unions who say the scheme will only worsen the plight of Greeks enduring a sixth year of recession.

Greek lawmakers gear up for crucial austerity vote

Greek lawmakers prepared to vote late Wednesday on a controversial new austerity package involving a huge shake-up of the civil service with thousands of jobs on the line. The vote, to be held around midnight, is going ahead despite mass protests against the reforms imposed in return for fresh bailout funds. Under the proposed reforms, thousands of civil servants including teachers and municipal police will have eight months to find new posts elsewhere or accept those offered to them. Otherwise, they would lose their jobs.

Greek lawmakers gear for crucial austerity vote

Greek lawmakers prepared to vote late Wednesday on a controversial new austerity package involving a huge shake-up of the civil service with thousands of jobs on the line. The vote, to be held around midnight, is going ahead despite mass protests against the reforms imposed in return for fresh bailout funds. Under the proposed reforms, thousands of civil servants including teachers and municipal police will have eight months to find new posts elsewhere or accept those offered to them. Otherwise, they would lose their jobs.

Greeks strike against public sector cuts, protests gather steam

By Renee Maltezou ATHENS (Reuters) - Trains ground to a halt and hospitals worked with emergency staff as Greek workers went on strike on Tuesday in protest at government plans to fire thousands of public sector employees. Athens must reform and shrink its civil service to receive more bailout funds from foreign lenders but the latest plan of job cuts has sparked uproar among Greeks struggling with an unemployment rate of nearly 27 percent.

Greeks protest job cuts, unemployment hits new high

By Karolina Tagaris ATHENS (Reuters) - From police to garbage collectors, Greek municipal workers took to the streets of Athens for a fourth day running on Thursday to protest against government plans to slash public sector jobs, while unemployment figures hit a new high. Fuelled by three years of austerity Athens has imposed in return for bailout funds from its foreign lenders, unemployment inched up to 26.9 percent in April, the statistics service ELSTAT said - the highest since it began publishing jobless data in 2006.

Greek labor unions to strike over public-sector job cuts

By Renee Maltezou ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek workers will walk off the job in a 24-hour general strike next week, unions said on Wednesday, in the first major protest against the government's latest plan to cut thousands of public-sector jobs to please international lenders. The strike next Tuesday could coincide with a parliamentary vote expected next week on the policies Athens agreed with its European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders as a condition for more aid.
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