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Greek workers strike, protesters mass at parliament

ATHENS – Thousands of Greek demonstrators massed at parliament and workers launched a national strike on Wednesday to protest against the government’s efforts to approve new austerity measures for the debt-stricken euro zone state. Prime Minister George Papandreou must push through a new five-year campaign of tax hikes, spending cuts and sell-offs of state property to continue receiving aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund and avoid default. He not only faces public protests and resistance from a conservative opposition that has surpassed his Socialist party in opinion polls, but backbenchers in his own parliamentary grouping are…