The new measures will see thousands of additional public sector job cuts. The country has been kept out of bankruptcy since it started receiving rescue loans in 2010 from the International Monetary Fund and other euro nations. However, the austerity measures that were demanded in return have caused a dramatic increase in poverty and unemployment. The new legislation will put 12,500 public sector staff, mostly teachers and municipal workers, in a programme that subjects them to involuntary transfers and possible dismissals. It will also pave the way for 15,000 layoffs by the end of next year. City halls across the country have been closed this week, with uncollected rubbish piling up on the streets, and unions held a general strike on Tuesday against the proposed cuts.