Philippine Army says nine rebels killed

Updated 03 January 2014
0

Philippine Army says nine rebels killed

COTABATO: Philippine troops repulsed a series of attacks by a breakaway Muslim insurgent group in the country’s south that left nine rebels dead and two soldiers wounded, the army said Friday.
The series of skirmishes occurred around several small military outposts near the rural town of Pikit between Tuesday and Thursday, local military spokesman Captain Antonio Bulao told AFP.
Nine members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters were killed in the fighting, Bulao said, citing intelligence reports.
The rebel faction’s spokesman, Abu Misri, confirmed that its forces were involved in the fighting, but denied that it sustained casualties.
Bulao said two soldiers were wounded in the fighting.
The rebel faction split off from the main Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, after the MILF entered into peace talks with the government to end decades of conflict that have claimed 150,000 lives.


Greek public sector workers strike for higher pay

Updated 3 min 39 sec ago
0

Greek public sector workers strike for higher pay

  • The strike by the ADEDY union is the first major strike since Greece exited its bailout program in August
  • The Greek economy shrank by about a quarter during the eight-year crisis

ATHENS: Greece’s largest public sector union staged a 24-hour walkout on Wednesday, demanding wage and pension increases from a government still bound to keeping expenditure in check by its lenders.
The strike by the ADEDY union is the first major strike since Greece exited its bailout program in August.
Greece still has limits on what it can spend as it needs to achieve a primary budget surplus — which excludes debt servicing costs — of 3.5 percent of its annual output in the medium-term under a post-bailout supervision program.
The ADEDY union, which represents about half a million public sector workers, wants the left-led Syriza government to retract pay and pension cuts and tax increases which were part of three bailout programs since 2010.
“Now is the time the government should be forced to change track, (by) abandoning its extreme policies of austerity and satisfy our demands,” ADEDY said in a statement.
Public sector workers have seen earnings shrink by up to 40 percent cumulatively since Greece first sought a financial lifeline from the European Union and the IMF in 2010.
Since early 2010 to mid-2018, Greece relied on more than €260 billion ($300 billion) lent by its euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund.
Workers plan to hold a protest march in central Athens on Wednesday morning.
The economy shrank by about a quarter during the eight-year crisis. It has now returned to growth and the jobless rate has dropped to 18 percent from a record high of nearly 28 percent in 2013, but is still the highest in the euro zone.
The government, which signed up to a new bailout in 2015 despite pre-election promises to end austerity, has pledged to protect workers and pensioners from any further cuts, but without derailing the country’s fiscal performance.