Tensions are running high in Greece after the austerity ravaged nations parliament once again caved into its international creditors and approved another round of austerity measures, including the sacking of thousands of public sector workers.
MPs backed the cuts in an article-by-article vote early on Thursday morning. Prime Minister Antonis Samaras managed to get the bill passed despite the departure of a left-wing party from his coalition government in June.
The new legislation will see up to 12,500 teachers; municipal workers and other public-sector staff lose their jobs. By the end of the year a total of 15,000 will have lost their jobs. Unemployment is already staggeringly high, taxes are on the rise and cuts to public spending have led to shortages of many services including medicines for state hospitals. With so many out of work it is hard to see how the government will be able to encourage growth.
In protest city halls across the county have been closed at rubbish has been left uncollected in the streets. Tuesday saw a nationwide general strike.
“I fully understand the hardship the Greek people are going through during the great crisis,” the finance minister, Yannis Stournaras, said during the debate. “But I am fully convinced that the path we have chosen is correct.”
Later on Thursday German Finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble arrives in the Greek capital Athens in a move that is supposed to show Germany’s backing for the country. The people on the streets however are unlikely to be impressed. Much of their anger is aimed at the German Minister who they blame for the crushing austerity being forced upon them.
As a result of the bills passing the Euro recovered some ground against Sterling as investors breathed a sigh of relief.
Euro (EUR) Exchange Rates
As of 09:30 AM
The Euro/US Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.3114 <
The Euro/Australian Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.4310 >
The Euro/ New Zealand Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.6654 <
The Euro/ Canadian Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.3671 >