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Strike in Greece gives voice to frustration over austerity

Nov. 6, 2013 at 12:12 PM

ATHENS, Greece, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Two major unions in Greece called off rallies in Athens as a 24-hour general strike was dampened by hard rains Wednesday.

Unions are protesting the threat of another round of austerity budget cuts that are expected as the government waits for approval from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary fund -- the so-called troika -- for the latest bailout installment of about $1.3 billion.

Greece has been granted $323 billion in bailouts from the international coalition, but the second bailout is being meted out in installments to ensure that Greece is following through on budget reforms mandated by the troika.

Although the Greek government predicts the country will emerge from a six-year recession in 2014, the BBC reported that there is speculation Greece may require a third bailout of about $15 billion.

Wednesday's strike affected schools, hospitals and public transportation, the BBC said. Although two main rallies were canceled, reports said that small groups described as "mainly Communist Party supporters," managed to hold public demonstrations.

While rallies were rained out in Athens, thousands protested in the streets of Thessaloniki, the BBC said.

"United we can stop them, we can topple them," said a statement released by the Civil Servants Confederation, known as Adedy.

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