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Austerity Greece


In the tense early days of May, as the Greek government unveiled a raft of harsh austerity measures aimed at tackling the country's crippling debt and dire public finances, Alfredo D'Amato gauged the effect of the crisis on people's day-to-day lives. His pictures capture the pervasive atmosphere of uncertainty spreading through the country.

As the scale of the austerity programme and its effect on living standards became clear, tens of thousands took to the streets in protest. Public sector pay was frozen, and many employees will face drastic cuts in salary. Annual bonuses, often equivalent to two months pay, were scrapped for high earners. The retirement age is to be increased, and workers will only qualify for a full pension if they have worked for at least 40 years. The amount of the pension will also be reduced. VAT on consumer goods was increased to 23%. Indirect taxes on cigarettes, alcohol and fuel will rise by 10%, and there will be a major clamp-down on tax evasion.
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