Connect to share and comment

Greek municipal workers strike for a second day

PlacardEnlarge
(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Greek municipal workers went on strike for a second consecutive day on Tuesday, protesting against job losses being brought in as part of the government's austerity programme.

Some 2,000 people marched through Athens, according to police.

Athens has pledged to axe 4,000 state jobs by the end of the year and redeploy 12,500 civil servants across its vast bureaucracy in order to receive the latest tranche of bailout money from Europe and the IMF.

The strike was called by Poe-Ota -- the union of municipal workers. Police officers blew the sirens of their cars to show support.

Nursery school teacher Stella Fotiadou, who joined the protest, told AFP that the job cuts could hit anyone.

"It may happen to all of us,' she told AFP.

Tuesday's strikes followed protests the day before by several thousand whistle-blowing civil servants, including many uniformed police, as tens of thousands went on strike.

The protests came after eurozone finance ministers agreed to unblock a vital tranche of fresh aid to Greece -- but only if the heavily indebted country presses ahead with urgently needed reforms.

The Eurogroup ministers agreed to pay out 6.8 billion euros ($8.7 billion), with some 4.0 billion euros ($5.1 billion) scheduled for release "in the coming weeks" and a further 1.0 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in October.

Both sums are shared by the eurozone rescue fund EFSF and European central banks, while the IMF is also expected to provide 1.8 billion euros ($2.3 billion).

But the latest funds also came with a warning from the Eurogroup's chief, Jeroen Dijsselbloem.

"Significant further work is needed over the next weeks to fully implement all prior actions required for the next disbursement," he warned in a press conference on Monday evening.

burs-im-smk-str/kv/dh/fb

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130709/greek-municipal-workers-strike-second-day