NEWS

Bailout creditors start new austerity talks in Greece amid protest

Representatives of Greece’s bailout creditors received an earful on the first day of new talks on the financially battered country’s austerity program.

Armed with a bullhorn, a few dozen civil servants chanted anti-austerity slogans Tuesday outside the room where the officials were meeting Finance Ministry Yannis Stournaras.

Ministry officials said the protesters, who work for a Development Ministry department in the building, did not enter the room and left peacefully.

Greece has survived on international rescue loans since 2010 after a combination of dismal financial stewardship, loss of investor confidence and the global recession brought it near bankruptcy. Successive governments have passed deeply resented spending cuts and tax hikes to secure loans totaling 240 billion euros ($324 billion).

The ongoing talks focus on the size of 2014’s budget gap. [AP]