February 27, 2021

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“Resign” movement stages first anti-government protest in Athens

Xinua — Several thousand anti-government protesters gathered in central Athens Wednesday demanding an end to the government’s austerity policies,  accusing his government of breaking promises and sinking the country deeper into financial distress.

The rally follows a wave of recent measures approved by parliament, including pension reforms and tax hikes.

Those were demanded by the country’s international lenders in exchange for vital bailout funds.

“The people came here spontaneously, they are all dissatisfied with this supposedly left-wing government that has turned out to be more right-wing than the real thing,” one woman said.

‘‘I voted twice for Tsipras. He’s kept none of his promises. They’ve cut my pension in half. What else can I do? declared another protester.

“I don’t really go to demonstrations but Tsipras has disappointed everyone,” said Philippos Asimakopoulos, a retired architect, who helped hold up a large protest banner with the words “resign” printed in red letters.

“It’s been hard for every prime minister during the crisis. But it’s like he’s not even trying,” he said.

Wednesday’s protest was organized on social media – using the hashtag ‘resign’ written in Greek – in a campaign headed by 43-year-old orchestral cello player Manos Epitropakis, who was previously affiliated with Socialist party politics.

Epitropakis said the protest had no direct party backing, though the conservative opposition on Wednesday publicly expressed support for the event.

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