Protesters march on Acropolis in Athens
Protesters marched on the Acropolis in Athens at dawn on Tuesday, protesting the drastic "sacrifices" the government has imposed on the country after securing a 110 billion euro bailout.
"Similar measures that eliminate social security are taken across Europe. But popular anger will rattle imperialist organisations," Communist lawmaker Nikos Papaconstantinou told a Greek radio station.
Meanwhile, Labour Minister Andreas Loverdos said that the government put these measures in place to save Greece.
Part of the Greek government's austerity measures include cutting 30 billion from the budget over the next three years by sector workers and retirees. It also plans to raise sales tax.
In France, the National Assembly adopted late Monday an emergency bill to aid Greece with 16.8 billion in bilateral loans. The UMP party in power and the socialist party (PS) united on this rare occasion to loan Greece the sum at five per cent.
In a show of solidarity with protesters, hundreds of thousands of civil servants have walked out in a two-day strike. Hospitals are operating on emergency staff while many government offices have had to close.
Pensioners are holding a separate demonstration, and civil aviation staff have grounded some domestic flights and all flights on Wednesday.
A nationwide general strike, including street protests, is scheduled for Wednesday.
In related news, Spain, another Eurozone country that has been hit hard by the economic crisis, reported a drop in unemployment in April for the first time in nine months.