Greeks Expecting More Shutdowns Ahead of Austerity Vote

Posted October 18th, 2011 at 6:40 am (UTC-5)
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Greeks are preparing for a massive nationwide strike ahead of Thursday’s vote on the latest proposed austerity measures.

Much of Greece is expected to grind to a halt as workers protest further cuts to their pay and tax increases.

Already trash service has become an issue across Athens. The Greek military has been made available beginning Tuesday to begin removing the mounds of trash that sanitation workers refuse to collect.

Journalists, tax collectors and transportation workers have joined the work stoppage.

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou is calling for unity ahead of the austerity vote in Parliament on Wednesday and Thursday. The prime minister said Greek lawmakers must “show a sense of unity and responsibility.”

Greece needs to make budget cuts deep enough to satisfy international bankers and European Union members in order to receive the next round of bailout funds.

Greece has a public debt estimated to be 162-percent of the gross domestic product and its economy is expected to contract more than five-percent in 2011.