Greeks giving their government the classic 'friendly' ten finger salute, which all but sums up their sentiments.
Greek public sector workers will stage another protest against the vote on the government bill to reform the pension system in a three-hour strike involving symbolic occupations of municipal buildings, Greek media reported on July 13 2010
Between 10am and 1pm on July 15, all city halls in Greece will be symbolically occupied. Additionally, the union of Greek judges and prosecutors are also poised to stage a two-hour walk-out from all courts and prosecution offices in the country, also in protest against pension reform.
Ministry of culture staff are also on strike, so the Parthenon in Athens and other major archaeological sites across the country will remain closed until 12pm.
Meanwhile, international experts have given a boost of moral support to Greece's fiscal consolidation programme, claiming that it is on track and thus will allow the country to qualify for a second tranche of international aid in September 2010, according to euro zone finance ministers.
"The Greek government program ... is impressive and has outpaced our expectations," Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said, during a debate on Greece among the currency area's 16 finance chiefs.
"The Greek program of fiscal consolidation and structural reforms is on track," European Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said.
The Greek government is imposing a range of austerity measures in return for a 110 billion euro bail-out from the EU and IMF.
Greece has been plagued by massive general strikes that have left the country reeling in what is transpiring as a nightmarish 2010 summer for the tourist industry.
Just last week, the panhellenic seamen’s federation (PNO) staged the now seemingly traditional 24-hour strike, which seriously hindered incoming and departing tourists at the port of Piraeus.
The decision to strike on July 8 occurred after tensions peaked during a session of PNO’s executive committee between federation members and representatives of the Greek communist party KKE -affiliated group Pame.
Greek media have reported that to date, 16 000 companies have declared bankruptcy in Greece since the turmoil around the country's budget began, while by the end of 2010, they are expecting a total of 60 000 firms to go under, with a further 110 000 people losing their jobs.
However, Juncker said he was confident that Greece would receive the second aid instalment in September, although an official mission of the EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank must first give their final answer by August.
Greece has nearly halved its central government budget deficit in the first six months of 2010 as severe spending cuts were implemented.
"Hopefully we will not only hit the target of deficit reduction but even do slightly better," Greek finance minister George Papaconstantinou told Reuters.
"We will have done all the reforms that we have committed to and already we passed a major pension reform a few days ago, and we will see whether growth is better."