- Title: Greeks strike against austerity before budget vote, bailout review
- Date: 8th December 2016
- Summary: PIRAEUS, GREECE (DECEMBER 8, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF SHIPS TIED DOWN AT PIRAEUS PORT AS PART OF STRIKE VARIOUS OF STRIKING WORKERS WHO WORK IN THE SHIPPING INDUSTRY AT ENTRANCE TO DOCKED FERRY (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) TRADE UNIONIST SAVVAS TSIPOGLOU, PRESIDENT OF THE PANHELLENIC UNION OF MERCHANT MARINE ENGINEERS, SAYING: "We are fighting on the streets united against this terrible, barbaric, anti-social, policy." ATHENS, GREECE (DECEMBER 8, 2016) (REUTERS) EMPTY RAILWAY STATION VARIOUS OF EMPTY RAILWAY STATION PLATFORM VARIOUS OF A TRADE UNION POSTER CALLING WORKERS TO THE PROTEST RALLY HANGING ON A STREET POLE ACROSS FROM THE PARLIAMENT BUILDING GREEK FLAG WAVING OVER THE PARLIAMENT BUILDING VARIOUS OF STRIKING WORKERS HOLDING BANNERS AND UNION FLAGS GATHERED IN RALLY IN CENTRAL ATHENS STRIKING WORKERS WEARING THEIR WORK UNIFORMS CHANTING: (Greek) "WORKERS UNITE AND FIGHT!" WORKERS (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PRINTING FACTORY WORKER, NIKOS SPANOPOULOS, AGED 56, SAYING: "I believe the reforms will never end, measures will constantly be taken. This leftist government was elected for the better, but from what I see - and I didn't vote for it and never will - they are going to take everything including our underwear, the way things are going. I don't think the reforms will stop here, they will continue." (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PRESIDENT OF THE ATHENS IRON WORKERS UNION, NIKOS TOUDOUTZAKIS, SAYING: "For the business owners, the bankers, and the shipping tycoons these (reforms) are like buttering their bread, but for us workers on the other side this is really bad." VARIOUS OF STRIKING WORKERS MARCHING IN CENTRAL ATHENS VARIOUS OF WORKERS CHANTING (Greek) "FIGHT! BRING THEM DOWN!" WORKERS IN MARCH HOLDING A BANNER READING: (Greek) "PERMANENT AND STABLE WORK!" VARIOUS OF CROWDS OF STRIKING WORKERS AS SEEN FROM ABOVE, WALKING PAST PARLIAMENT BUILDING
- Embargoed: 23rd December 2016 10:58
- Keywords: European Union IMF Greece debt strike austerity labor
- Location: PIRAEUS AND ATHENS, GREECE
- City: PIRAEUS AND ATHENS, GREECE
- Country: Greece
- Reuters ID: LVA0015C0WPC7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Greeks went on strike on Thursday (December 8) to protest planned labor reforms and painful austerity cuts demanded by the country's European Union and International Monetary Fund lenders as part of a crucial bailout review the government is eager to complete.
Passenger ships remained docked at ports, national and city transport was disrupted and local administration offices shut down as workers joined the 24-hour nationwide walkout called by the country's largest private and public sector unions, GSEE and ADEDY.
A few thousand workers and pensioners rallied in central Athens criticizing the government for bowing to lenders and expressed fears that austerity reforms would continue for many years. Turnouts to rallies has decreased due to austerity fatigue, as the country is in its seventh year of a debt crisis.
Eurozone finance ministers said on Monday (December 5) that Athens needed to speed up the review which has hit a snag on labor reforms, including liberalizing mass layoffs and reviving collective bargaining between employers and unions.
Athens has rejected its creditors' demands for more austerity measures beyond 2018.
The eurozone also granted Greece short-term debt relief on Monday, which was hailed as a success by the leftist-led government that has been sagging in polls for months.
But the news did not impress austerity-hit Greeks, who have lost almost a third of their income since the crisis started in 2009. Thousands have lost their jobs amid a deep recession. Unemployment in September stood at 23.4 percent.
Parliament is expected to vote on the budget on Saturday (December 10).
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