Dozens of paraplegic citizens staged a demonstration on Thursday outside the offices of the Finance Ministry in central Athens in protest at the hefty cuts to social welfare benefits foreseen in a new austerity package being discussed by government officials and the troika.

The protesters asked to meet with Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras in order to explain to him in person the setbacks faced by thousands of paraplegics due to continuing cutbacks in health sector spending.

A spokesperson for the union representing the paraplegics said the protesters would seek the intervntion of Parliament if their request to meet the minister is turned down.