Thousands of Greek pensioners protest income cuts

Markets Associated Press

  • Lawmakers take part in a parliamentary session in Athens, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. Greek lawmakers are to vote Thursday on a controversial Christmas bonus for low-earning pensioners, which has caused a dispute with the country's bailout creditors, as European officials have suspended an agreed debt relief program for Greece until they deliberate whether the handout is permitted under bailout-imposed austerity. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

    Lawmakers take part in a parliamentary session in Athens, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. Greek lawmakers are to vote Thursday on a controversial Christmas bonus for low-earning pensioners, which has caused a dispute with the country's bailout creditors, as ... European officials have suspended an agreed debt relief program for Greece until they deliberate whether the handout is permitted under bailout-imposed austerity. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis) (The Associated Press)

  • Pensioners march during an anti-austerity rally in Athens, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. About 5,000 Greek pensioners marched peacefully through central Athens Thursday to protest years of cuts to their pensions under the country's bailout commitments. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

    Pensioners march during an anti-austerity rally in Athens, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. About 5,000 Greek pensioners marched peacefully through central Athens Thursday to protest years of cuts to their pensions under the country's bailout commitments. (... AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis) (The Associated Press)

  • Pensioners take part in an anti-austerity rally in Athens, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. About 5,000 Greek pensioners marched peacefully through central Athens Thursday to protest years of cuts to their pensions under the country's bailout commitments. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

    Pensioners take part in an anti-austerity rally in Athens, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. About 5,000 Greek pensioners marched peacefully through central Athens Thursday to protest years of cuts to their pensions under the country's bailout commitments. (... AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis) (The Associated Press)

About 5,000 Greek pensioners have marched peacefully through central Athens to protest years of cuts to their pensions under the country's bailout commitments.

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The protest came as lawmakers prepared to vote on the left-led government's bid to give pensioners a one-off Christmas bonus next week, to compensate for a holiday bonus scrapped by creditors.

The promised handout has heightened tensions with creditors, who say the government should have sought clearance first.

But protesting pensioners said Thursday the bonus was too small.

Efstathios Bozos says it's "just a tip" that does little to compensate for a 50 percent reduction in pensions over recent years.

Greece has imposed income reductions, tax hikes and reforms since 2010 to secure the rescue loans preventing the country's bankruptcy and exit from the euro currency.