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Greek unions launch fall protests against job cuts

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Unions representing government workers are staging work stoppages across Greece, launching a fall protest campaign against government plans to ax thousands of state jobs as part of its cost-cutting commitments to international lenders.

Thursday’s protest by the civil servants’ union, ADEDY, caused most public services to close early but saw no major disruption, while several hundred protesters marched peacefully to parliament.

Unions are threatening to organize major protests in September against the conservative-led government which is planning to suspend up to 50,000 public servants this year and fire 15,000 by the end of 2014. Teaching unions were meeting Thursday to plan strikes expected to disrupt the start of the new school year.

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