7 in 10 Greeks disappointed with new austerity measures

ATHENS (Xinhua) — Seven out of ten Greek citizens expressed disappointment with the new austerity measures the government agreed to with international lenders, a poll released on Monday showed, ahead of the vote on the relevant bill in the Greek parliament scheduled for May 18.

Some 72 percent of respondents in the survey carried out by ProRata polling firm for Efimerida ton Syntakton (Editors’ Journal) newspaper said that they considered the latest deal struck to conclude the second review of the third Greek bailout program as “bad” and “rather bad”. Only 14 percent of participants responded it was “good or rather good”.

Six of ten participants believe that the package of measures and relief countermeasures the Left-led government proposes by 2021 will not help in efforts for economic recovery and the national economy and their personal finances will be worse in 2018.

Government sources speaking to Greek national news agency AMNA defended the new round of measures as necessary to secure more aid by creditors to kick start the recession-hit economy.

The omnibus bill which includes new cuts in pensions also includes social protection expenditure to support the most vulnerable social groups, the sources noted.

The total worth of fresh belt-tightening measures was estimated at 4.2 billion euros (4.6 billion U.S. dollars) by 2021, while offset measures will reach 7.6 billion euros in the same period, the sources said.

As deputies debate the draft bill in the assembly from Monday labor unions plan strikes and rallies. On Tuesday Greek journalists will hold a 24-hour nationwide strike.

Ships will remain docked on Tuesday and Wednesday, while the umbrella unions of public servants and private sector employees ADEDY and GSEE have declared a 24-hour general strike for May 17.