Thousands of Greeks protest against new austerity cuts
LAST UPDATED: 09/08/2012 23:01
THESSALONIKI, Greece - Thousands of Greeks marched at an annual fair in Greece's second-biggest city on Saturday to protest against a new round of wage and pension cuts demanded by international lenders in exchange for aid to stave off bankruptcy.
The demonstration by about 15,000 trade unionists and leftists was the first major protest against a nearly 12-billion-euro austerity package being readied by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to appease EU and IMF inspectors who arrived in Athens on Friday to review Greece's reform progress.
A few protesters burned European Union flags while others threw watermelons and peaches in support of struggling farmers, but the largely peaceful protests otherwise passed off without incident as 3,500 policemen looked on.
Greece is struggling through its worst post-war economic crisis that has left nearly one in four jobless, pushed up poverty levels and shuttered thousands of businesses.