- Title: Greek public sector workers strike against EU/IMF reforms
- Date: 24th November 2016
- Summary: PIRAEUS, GREECE (NOVEMBER 24, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FERRIES DOCKED AT PORT DUE TO SEAMEN'S 24 HOUR STRIKE VARIOUS OF MAN SITTING ON BUCKET AND FISHING AT QUAY NEXT TO DOCKED FERRY SHIP DOCKED AT PORT ATHENS, GREECE (NOVEMBER 24, 2016) (REUTERS) STRIKING WORKERS FROM TRADE UNIONS HOLDING FLAGS AND BANNERS GATHERED FOR RALLY VARIOUS OF PROTESTER BEATING DRUM WORKERS WITH BANNERS AND FLAGS AT RALLY (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) PRESIDENT OF THE GREEK FEDERATION OF WORKERS AT PUBLIC HOSPITALS, MICHALIS GIANNAKOS, SAYING: "Mr. Tsipras who was opposed to bailouts is now supporting them. We are one step away from signing the fourth bailout. The program under which (Tsipras) was elected has been thrown in the garbage. He (Tsipras) is looking to achieve a primary surplus through measures such as destroying wages and pensions and social security. We will not allow him to throw us into a pit full of snakes." (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) TEACHER AND MEMBER OF THE ATHENS TEACHER'S UNION, DINA KARANE, SAYING: "When the government says it is discussing with creditors, and the discussions are about new measures that attack labor rights, our answer is that we, the workers, will tear down these bailouts." (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) MUNICIPAL WORKER, PANAGIOTIS SPILIOPOULOS, SAYING: "We want to send the message that the workers will not allow them (government) to attack the rights that we achieved after years of battles." VARIOUS OF STRIKING WORKERS MARCHING WITH BANNERS, PLACARDS, AND UNION FLAGS PROTESTER SHOUTING INTO MEGAPHONE (Greek): 'NO TO IMF AND EU' PROTESTERS CHANTING (Greek): "PEOPLE TAKE MATTERS INTO YOUR OWN HANDS" PROTESTER CHANTING ANTI-GOVERNMENT SLOGANS INTO MEGAPHONE PROTESTERS CHANTING ANTI-BAILOUT SLOGANS VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS HOLDING UNION FLAGS MARCHING BY CENTRAL SQUARE /PARLIAMENT IN BACKGROUND VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS RALLYING OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT AND HOLDING BANNER READING (Greek): 'NO TO THE DESTRUCTION OF SOCIAL SECURITY' PROTESTERS HOLDING UNION FLAGS IN FRONT OF PARLIAMENT
- Embargoed: 9th December 2016 12:35
- Keywords: Greece economy debt austerity reforms EU IMF strike protest
- Location: ATHENS AND PIRAEUS, GREECE
- City: ATHENS AND PIRAEUS, GREECE
- Country: Greece
- Topics: Budget/Taxation/Revenue,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00159SZR5Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Greek public-sector workers went on strike on Thursday (November 24) to protest labor and pension reforms and state asset sales which the government agreed with the country's official creditors in exchange for loans.
State hospital doctors, school teachers and municipal workers joined the nationwide strike called by Greece's main public sector union ADEDY.
Ships remained docked at ports as part of a separate 24-hour walkout called by seamen.
About 3,000 workers, pensioners and trade unionists marched to parliament waving anti-government banners and chanting, "No to IMF and EU!".
"Mr. Tsipras who was opposed to bailouts is now supporting them. We are one step away from signing the fourth bailout. The program under which (Tsipras) was elected has been thrown in the garbage. He (Tsipras) is looking to achieve a primary surplus through measures such as destroying wages and pensions and social security. We will not allow him to throw us into a pit full of snakes," said Michalis Giannakos, president of the Greek Federation of Public Hospital Workers, as he took part in the rally.
The seven-year economic crisis and an austerity-induced recession have driven thousands out of work and squeezed wages.
Athens is still at odds with its lenders - the European Union and the International Monetary Fund - over unpopular labor reforms, including collective bargaining, a mechanism to set the minimum wage and giving companies more freedom to lay off workers.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday (November 23) Athens could not accept "irrational" demands. Despite pre-election pledges to end austerity, Tsipras signed up to a new international bailout in July last year, the country's third. His popularity ratings have been dropping for months and his leftist party is trailing the conservative opposition.
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