Greek civil service union starts 2-day strike to protest austerity program, planned job cuts

ATHENS, Greece – Greek civil servants, including hospital and teaching staff, have started a two-day strike against austerity measures imposed under the debt-mired country’s international bailout commitments.

Unions are also planning a protest march later Wednesday through central Athens.

Greece’s Adedy umbrella public sector union has accused the conservative-led government of taking too passive a stance in its latest round of negotiations with bailout creditors, which concluded on Monday. Unionists are also angry at cost-saving plans to sack thousands of public sector workers.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras says Monday’s deal does not require any new austerity policies.

The country has depended on money from other European countries and the International Monetary Fund since mid-2010. The payment of the rescue loans depends on Athens meeting a range of budget targets and enacting economic reforms.