U.S. Markets closed

Athens municipal workers on strike against reforms

ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Athens municipal workers are on strike to protest government plans to reduce the number of civil servants, a measure demanded by Greece's international creditors to approve the next installment of bailout loans for the country.

The eurozone's finance ministers meet later Monday in Brussels and will consider releasing the funds.

Poul Thomsen, the International Monetary Fund representative, and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said Sunday they were "hoping" for a final agreement between Greece and its creditors — the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission — before the meeting.

The government is seeking to put 12,500 civil servants on administrative leave by the end of 2013, with the possibility of dismissal. Those targeted include school security personnel, Athens municipal police, local government employees, teachers and various ministry employees.