News Summary: Greece braces for week of protests

News Summary: Greece: motorcycle rally starts off week of protests as mass staff cuts planned

Associated Press
News Summary: Greece braces for week of protests
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Striking Municipal police officer take part in a rally against new austerity cuts that will affect thousands of public sector workers, outside the Greek Parliament in Athens, Monday, July 15, 2013. The measures are part of a broad plan to slash the size of Greece's bloated public sector, which counts some 670,000 employees. The government has committed to firing 15,000 people by the end of 2014 and transferring another 12,500 to new positions this year. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

TAKING NO PRISONERS: Greece is bracing for a week of protests against new government cuts. First up: Municipal police officers brought traffic to a standstill intermittently for five hours across central Athens.

THE TARGET: The demonstrations were sparked by the latest round of austerity measures that will impose staff cuts on teachers and local government. Unions have called a general strike for Tuesday to disrupt flights, national rail travel and public hospitals.

THE CAUSE: Greece's international creditors demanded job cuts before approving new bailout loan installments worth 6.8 billion euros ($8.9 billion) to be paid out between July and October. Parliament is to vote this week in the first major political test for Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras since a left-wing party abandoned his coalition government last month.

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