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Greeks protest new round of austerity cuts

  • Thousands of Greeks rallied at an annual fair in the country’s second-biggest city on Saturday to protest a new round of wage and pension cuts.

    The measures form part of conditions demanded by international lenders in exchange for financial aid.

    Around 15,000 trade unionists and leftists demonstrated against a $15 billion austerity package being prepared by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras as EU and IMF inspectors arrived in Athens on Friday to review Greece's reform progress.

    The largely peaceful protests took place without incident as 3,500 policemen looked on.

    Samaras opposed Greece's first bailout in 2010. However, since taking power in June he has pledged to push through another round of austerity measures.

    The government is hoping to win two more years in order to implement the cuts, due in 2013 and 2014.

    Greece's economy is expected to contract by more than 7 percent this year.