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  • A pensioner holds a banner during an anti-austerity demonstration in Athens April 1, 2015.

    A pensioner holds a banner during an anti-austerity demonstration in Athens April 1, 2015. | Photo: Reuters

Published 2 April 2015

Protestors in central Athens marched to the Labor Ministry demanding that their pensions be raised back to pre-austerity levels.

Thousands of pensioners took to the streets of several cities in Greece Wednesday to demand the new left-wing government end cuts made to pensions and healthcare services.

The largest march was held in central Athens, where protesters marched to the Labor Ministry demanding that their pensions be raised back to pre-austerity levels.

The rallies take place amid ongoing uncertainty about the debt-ridden nation's bailout as the anti-austerity government led by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras struggles to convince international lenders to agree to Syriza’s reform plan.

During his electoral campaign, the left-wing leader said his country would not accept any return to the austerity policies imposed by creditors and has pledged to renegotiate Greece's US$252 billion twin bailout.

The reductions to pensions and spending are among a long list of cuts made by previous governments over the past five years to keep the Euro currency in Greece. The measures have caused mounting dissatisfaction in the country.

Last month Greece’s Parliament passed what it called a “humanitarian crisis” bill in order to help the poorest sectors of its population.

Greece has been experiencing a deep political and economic crisis for the past five years, with unemployment soaring to 25 percent. The economy has shrunk by a quarter since the start of the eurozone crisis.

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