- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 18, 2014

ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Several thousand protesters have joined a demonstration in central Athens after the Health Ministry ordered the closure of the country’s entire state-run outpatient clinic network for one month to reorganize the health system.

The protest organized by a Communist labor union ended peacefully Tuesday outside the ministry.

The health care overhaul is part a massive cost-cutting campaign promised by the government as part of agreements for international bailouts that started in 2010.

The clinic closures started Monday and do not affect operations at state hospitals. Some 8,500 medical and administrative clinic staff have been suspended on reduced pay during the closure.

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