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Greek labour unions to hold third general strike

The strike, which will take place tomorrow, will shut down government services as well as disrupt public transportation, Bloomberg reports.

The potential job cuts stem from demands by creditors from the euro-area and International Monetary Fund in the cash-strapped Mediterranean country. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras must pass the legislation, which includes a plan to put 25,000 public-sector workers on notice for dismissal, in order to receive the next round of money in Greece’s 240 billion-euro ($313 billion) bailout.

Voice of America reports that some workers have already begun protests in Athens. Police have reportedly been blocking traffic as part of the protest.

Petros Varelas, a police official, said Greek workers want to know who will be affected by the potential cuts.

“We are demanding very clearly work for everyone,” Varelas said in a statement. “We are asking the government to make it clear in the bill of law that is to pass where our colleagues are going to be transferred. Furthermore, for us suspension is a red line.”

Meanwhile, Greece’s largest private-sector labour union, the Greek General Confederation of Labor, is calling for political change.

“The workers continue the struggle to put a final end to these policies that kill labor and drive the economy to ever deeper recession,” the union said in an e-mailed statement. “We demand a change to the politics of firings, privatization and divestiture of the public sector.”

In addition to Tuesday’s general strike, there is also a planned rally at Athens parliament on Wednesday.

The country’s lack of finances is affecting more than just financial well-being, as Business Insider reports. Between 2008 and 2011, the number of stillbirths has also risen. In 2011, there were four stillbirths per thousand people, which is higher than 2008’s rate of 3.31. That’s a 21 percent increase.

Greece’s overall birth rate also fell 10 percent in this period.

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