Greek mayors to halt services in austerity protest

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A striking Municipal police officer reacts as he leans on a car with a Greek flag during a protest, against new austerity cuts that will affect thousands of public sector workers, in Athens, Friday, July 12, 2013. The measures are part of a broad plan to slash the size of Greece's bloated public sector, which counts some 670,000 employees. The government has committed to firing 15,000 people by the end of 2014 and transferring another 12,500 to new positions this year. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Mayors from across Greece say they will suspend municipal services for three days next week to protest planned new austerity measures that will target their staff in mass job cuts.

Greece's Central Union of Municipalities voted Friday to take the July 15-17 action as parliament prepared to vote on the new measures next week demanded by bailout creditors for Athens to receive a new batch of emergency loans worth 6.8 billion euros ($8.9 billion). The protest is considered unusual because strikes are typically called by unions that represent employees.

The government has promised to fire 15,000 public sector employees by the end of 2014 and transfer another 12,500 to new positions this year.