greek protesters

Protesting taxi drivers stand in front of a protest banner placed at the Transport Ministry during a demonstration in Athens on September 28, 2011.
Greek civil servants protesting the government's austerity measures have occupied several ministries ahead of upcoming talks between the IMF and EU officials.

According to local media, the occupations began in the early hours of Thursday and will continue until Friday.

The protesters are opposing a new round of pay-cuts and layoffs imposed by the government and aimed at slashing its runaway deficit.

The protesters say they want to prevent the Greek Finance Minister from meeting the EU, the IMF, and the European Central Bank officials in Athens.

Greece was saved from bankruptcy by international creditors last year. Economists believe more financial bailouts to Greece could plunge the euro-zone into an even deeper crisis.

A troika of European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund inspectors returned to Greece after quitting the country unexpectedly on September 2, accusing Athens of not taking enough measures to deserve a bailout.

Greek finance ministry officials say the talks between Greece and EU,IMF, ECB inspectors will resume in 10 days.

Without new funds, Greece could run out of cash to pay state wage and pension expenses as soon as next month. A Greek default on debt repayments could wreck the balance sheets of banks across Europe and unleash a crisis in the global financial system.

Since last year, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund have provided Greece with two rescue packages worth over USD 380 billion in return for tough austerity measures.

Meanwhile, Greece must persuade both the EU and the IMF that it is making sufficient financial reforms. Otherwise, it will not receive the next USD 11 billion of bailout loans and prevent a default.