Forex News – Greece on strike as government votes on new austerity measures

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Greece is being held hostage by strikers today in Athens as they protest further austerity measures that Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou is pushing through today. Today is the first day of a 48-hour general strike as angry protesters took took the streets of Athens.

Many Greeks are protesting against labour reforms and are fed up that there has been no resolve to the recession so far.

Ex-finance minister of Greece, Stephanos Manos told reporters today that the main problem is that the Greek government introduces one measure that doesn’t work then introduces another and another, none of which have done much to help with the crisis. He said what is being done is too little, too late.

The ex-minister believes that Greece needs to implement a massive sale of state assets, which are worth over 125 billion euros.

He also added that the Greek government has to reduce government spending drastically but not through cutting wages and pensions but by eliminating unnecessary jobs. What he manes is that in the public sector there are too many employees hired than then job requires, especially teachers, he noted.

As thousands of demonstrators gather outside the Greek Parliament in Athens, the government inside is debating the extra austerity measures required in order for Greece to be allowed further international aid to keep it from a default.

On Thursday, the Greek parliament is due to vote on the new austerity measures, which includes plans to dismiss 30,000 state workers. The unemployment rate in Greece has already reached 16.5 percent as of July, according to data released yesterday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority.