Civil servants blockaded several ministries on Thursday to protest against austerity measures as Greece resumed talks with EU and IMF inspectors on an 8 billion euro aid tranche it needs to avoid bankruptcy next month.

The Socialist government decided on unpopular pension cuts, lay-offs and taxes last week to lure back the so-called troika of European CommissionEuropean Central Bank and International Monetary Fund officials, who suspended talks earlier this month after disagreements on the steps needed to plug fiscal gaps.

Dozens of employees gathered in front of the finance ministry on Thursday in protest against the measures, shouting: “Take your bailout and leave”.

They stopped some troika officials from entering the building, and the mission chiefs met Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos in another government office.

“The climate was positive and creative after the tough measures that were decided,” the finance ministry said in a statement after the talks resumed.

Civil servants also blocked the entrances of other public buildings including the interior, justice, health and agriculture ministries, a police spokesman said.

“These measures will not get us out of the crisis. I don’t have enough money to pay for the extra taxes and levies,” said taxi-driver George Kouris, 48, a father of two.

Before returning to the table, the EU/IMF mission demanded written assurances from Greece that its new pledges will be met, highlighting a lack of trust after repeated failures to meet targets and foot-dragging on privatisations.

Prime Minister George Papandreou, who urged his cabinet on Thursday to step up efforts to meet EU/IMF targets, will hold talks on Greece’s debt situation with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris on Friday.

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