German Finance Minister, Wolfgang SchÃ¤uble visited Greece today for a meeting in which he stated that it was detrimental to Greece’s well-being to continue asking for a further reduction in Greek debt, in addition to the 53% that was written off in February 2012.
However, yesterday protestors were in the streets in marked defiance of the forceful pushing through Parliament of the new austerity laws that will see thousands of Greeks being made redundant over the coming months.
The center of Athens was cordoned off today and will remain so until 8pm tonight to stop protestors demonstrating. Water cannons are in place ready to deal with any clashes. The opposition from the left-wing stated: “This action is fascist and undemocratic. It is inconceivable to have a demonstration and to exclude Syntagma Square. It is inconceivable for any European city“.
15, 000 civil servants will be asked to join the new mobility scheme before the end of 2014 in which they will be redeployed to other needy sectors of the economy. However, despite the compliance with the troika’s demands to cut the number of people in the civil service, no new jobs have been created and there is no economic growth being generated. People may risk seeing themselves simply made unemployed, thus creating a greater burden on the Greek state in the years to come. Already Greece has a lower percentage of people working in the public sector as a percentage of the entire population in comparison with other EU countries. Greece employs 22.6% in the civil service while the average in the EU stands at 25%.