ATHENS: Ferry services in Greece were halted for 24 hours on Jan. 12 as unions stepped up protests against a new austerity bill that will limit the right to strike and speed up property foreclosures.
More than 8,000 protesters joined a demonstration in central Athens as strikes disrupted public transport in the capital.
Police fired tear gas and briefly clashed with protesters on the steps of parliament at the end of the rally. No arrests or injuries were reported.
Bill to be voted on Jan 15
The austerity bill, to be voted late on Jan. 15, is considered to be potentially the last major package of cuts before Greece heads toward the end of the bailout program in August.
Amid a collapse in confidence, Greece lost the ability of raising money in international bond markets in 2010, but after years of budget restraint there are hopes that the country’s economy faces a brighter future. The yield on the country’s 10-year bond, for example, has dropped to below 4 percent – its lowest in more than a decade, a clear sign that investors are more hopeful about Greece’s economic prospects.__Hurriyet