Greek security forces confront a protester in Athens on June 15, 2011
Source: Press TV
The Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has asked Greeks to support further austerity measures or the country will face a “catastrophic” default.
"The consequences of a violent bankruptcy or exit from the euro would be immediately catastrophic for households, the banks and the country's credibility," said Papandreou as he appealed to the opposition to support him in a confidence vote, while addressing the Greek parliament, Reuters reported.
The austerity measures will include further spending cuts, an increase in taxes and a privatization plan, which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the EU have demanded in return for the new EUR 12 billion bailout package.
Greek officials have urged the IMF and the EU to hand over the package before mid-July, or the country will face default.
Meanwhile, thousands of protesters have once again, on Sunday, gathered outside the parliament in Athens to voice their opposition to harsher austerity measures. This marks the fourth consecutive week of massive anti-government demonstrations.
The protesters said privatization and further cuts to save the Greek economy will only affect the working class. Therefore, Unions have said they will continue to protest against any new austerity measures
Further, opposition leader Antonis Samaras demanded Papandreou to step down, so the country could hold early elections as well as renegotiate its current bailout package of EUR 110 billion that it received last year from the IMF and the EU.
The country has a debt of over EUR 300 billion, which is worth more than 150 percent of its annual economic output.
Since last year, Greece has witnessed massive anti-government protests which turned violent at times and left scores of protesters and security forces injured.