Greek protesters rally in Athens in solidarity with Cypriots against bailout terms

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-3-23 14:01:24

Greek protesters held a series of rallies in Athens and other cities across Greece on Friday evening in solidarity with Cypriots against the harsh conditions of a bailout aid package promoted to stave off an imminent financial meltdown.

Friday's demonstrations have been organized by left-wing political parties and activists who oppose the terms of the bailout deals implemented in Greece over the past three years to counter the Greek debt crisis which have fuelled recession and poverty rates.

Waving black flags and shouting anti-austerity slogans, protesters insisted that alternative ways to resolve the financial crises in Greece, Cyprus and other European countries are feasible.

"Joint struggle of peoples in Greece and Cyprus against government policies, memorandums, euro and EU," read banners.

The rallies came as Nicosia, in coordination with Athens, EU/ International Monetary Fund lenders and other countries, seeks a final deal to tackle problems concerning Cyprus' banking system and avert a disorderly default.

Earlier on Friday, an agreement for the takeover of Cypriot bank branches operating in Greece by a Greek lender was sealed after consultations between Greek and Cypriot governments and EU authorities as part of the efforts to address the Cypriot crisis.

The deal, which has already been put into force, aims to lift some burden from Nicosia, protect Greece's banking system which could suffer from repercussions from the Cyprus crisis, and safeguard depositors' savings in Greece, following Eurogroup's recent plan to impose a levy on deposits in Cyprus in return for bailout financing.

Greek main opposition Radical Left SYRIZA party requested that the 5,500 job positions of Cypriot banks' units in Greece will be preserved during the takeover process. That was the main demand of protesting bank employees who staged small gatherings outside bank branches in Athens earlier on Friday.

Posted in: Europe

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