Protesting Greeks fear Cyprus-like "haircut" on savings ahead of new troika audit

2013-03-31 18:28:38 GMT2013-04-01 02:28:38(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

ATHENS, March 31 (Xinhua) -- Six out of 10 Greeks fear a Cyprus-like "haircut" on bank savings in the near future, an opinion survey showed on Sunday, as labor unions resumed anti-austerity protests in Athens ahead of a new troika audit later this week.

Despite statements of Greek and other European officials that the implementation of a levy on depositors in Cyprus this spring is a one off aiming to tackle the island's financial crisis, 61 percent of Greek citizens expect that it could also happen in debt-wrecked Greece, according to a survey conducted by polling firm MRB for Greek daily "Real News".

The results were released as Greece's government is due to launch in coming days a fresh round of talks with visiting auditors of European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders on the conditions for the release of the next bailout tranche to Athens in April.

The previous round of deliberations on the next package of spending cuts and structural reforms to be implemented in coming months in exchange of further financing ended without a deal three weeks ago.

As a key issue on the agenda remains the shrinking of the public sector, on Sunday the umbrella trade union of civil servants ADEDY staged a new rally against "the endless haircuts on workers' lives" on Syntagma square outside the parliament.

"Our needs above their profits," read banners raised by members of the umbrella union of private sector employees GSEE which joined the mobilization.

Greece is kept afloat with multi-billion euro bailout loans since May 2010. The harsh austerity which has slashed wages, pensions and raised taxes, recession and poverty has been met with several strikes and rallies ever since.

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