Greek civil service union launches 2-day strike

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Greece’s Prime Minister Antonis Samaras arrives to make a statement to the media at the Finance Ministry in Athens, on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Greece says it has reached an agreement with its international debt inspectors that will allow the release of a long-delayed rescue loan installment. Samaras said Tuesday that the agreement does not include the requirement for any new austerity measures. Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said the text of the deal was being written up. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Greece’s Prime Minister Antonis Samaras arrives to make a statement to the media at the Finance Ministry in Athens, on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Greece says it has reached an agreement with its international debt inspectors that will allow the release of a long-delayed rescue loan installment. Samaras said Tuesday that the agreement does not include the requirement for any new austerity measures. Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said the text of the deal was being written up. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

A protesting school guard waves to her colleagues as they dangle banners from the Athens City Hall, on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Dozens of school guards, who have been suspended on reduced pay pending transfer to other public sector jobs or dismissal, occupied the building. The conservative-led government has committed to sack thousands of civil servants this year. Greece concluded its tortuous negotiations with its international debt inspectors Tuesday, reaching a deal that will allow the release of a long-delayed rescue loan installment. The banner at right reads “No to Layoffs” (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

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ATHENS, Greece (AP) — 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.

Associated Press

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