Further protests are expected in GREece in response to toughened austerity measures being imposed by ministers.
Further protests are expected in central Athens on Thursday
A 24-hour strike by public transport staff and taxi drivers is under way, while public sector workers will mass in central Athens later. The government has aGRE
ed to further cut pensions, extend property tax, and suspend thousands more public workers. It is battling to meet strict fiscal targets and persuade international lenders to give it more bailout funds. Wednesday's decision to extend the cuts followed two days of tough talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and European authorities. It sees the number of civil servants suspended on partial pay rising 50% to 30,000 by the end of the year, with monthly pensions above 1,200 euros subject to a 20% cut of the amount over that threshold（门槛，极限）
. Pensioners below the age of 55 will see a 40% cut in the amounts of their pensions above the 1,000 euros limit. The moves have been met with hostility by many, frustrated that the austerity programme appears to be deepening the recession and increasing unemployment. Default fear
Thousands of protesters circled the GRE
ek parliament building as the cabinet's six-hour meeting came to an end. Meanwhile, two of the country's biggest unions have aGRE
ed to two days of strike action next month. The government is implementing the measures in return for an 8bn-euro (£6.9bn) tranche（部分，一期款项）
of aid needed to avoid default. It claimed the move "would allow us to comply with the bailout plan through 2014" and remain at the core of the eurozone. However, the BBC's Mark Lowen said many analysts doubted that optimism, believing GRE
ece's vast debt remains unsustainable and that it faces an inevitable default at some stage. Fears in the financial markets that GRE
ece was close to defaulting on its debts had sent share prices tumbling （歪斜状的）
and the euro lower.