Thousands of Greek professionals protest pension reform plan


Thousands of Greek lawyers, doctors, engineers and other professional groups were marching peacefully through central Athens on Thursday to protest drastic new income cuts under planned pension reforms.

Police say at least 6,000 people were taking part in Thursday's protest to Parliament.

The reforms, drafted by the radical left-led government following demands from Greece’s bailout lenders, have met with blanket opposition from groups as disparate as farmers, lawyers, seamen and fishermen.

Greek island ferries are tied up in port for a second day due to a 48-hour strike by crews, while farmers are using tractors to block key highways in northern Greece.

Unions say a planned increase in pension contributions, combined with tax hikes, will lead to many professional groups handing over 70-85 percent of their annual income to the state coffers.