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Greeks Protest, Demand End to More Austerity Measures

Athens, May 19 (RHC)-- Protests have continued in the Greek capital of Athens as pensioners demand an end to back-to-back measures by parliament and the government to increase taxes. 

Hundreds marched to the parliament building in Athens on Thursday hours before the chamber was to approve measures that will impose additional income losses on many Greeks for another three years. 
 
Pensioners, who braved the torrential rains in the city, chanted slogans against the government of Prime Minister Alexi Tsipras and expressed their anger at the latest planned cuts of their incomes through 2020. 

"No more tax theft," they chanted, vowing to continue the rallies and stoppages that have affected services across the country.  That was the second day of protest by pensioners in Athens and it came following a general strike, which lasted for three days. 

Tsipras hopes the cuts and tax hikes could secure further funds it would need to avoid bankruptcy after a third international bailout for Greece expires next year.  The premier agreed to the bailout in 2015 months after taking office on promises of putting an end to austerity that had been imposed during Greece's first two international bailouts. 

All opposition parties are against the cuts.  They have likened the new reforms to those of a fourth bailout.  The government rejects the allegations and says it has also taken concurrent steps to relieve poverty in Greece. 

The cuts and tax hikes are part of agreements that Greek reached recently with the European creditors.  The lenders signed off to the agreements under pressure from the International Monetary Fund, which had argued that Greece should be awarded a debt relief so that it could be back on its feet. 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
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