The beginning of a Greek week: protests and strikes – what else?

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Several hundreds protesters gathered outside the Health Ministry in Athens on Monday morning, demanding to get an appointment with the minister. A group of protesters consists of 350 people who travelled from the islands of Paros and Antiparos to raise their voices against the shortages in the local health centre, claiming especially the lack of doctors. They handed out to the minister a petition with 6,500 signatures. The protesters travelled at no cost from the islands to Athens, as a shipping company offered them free transport.

At the same time, workers at two Psychiatric Hospitals of Athens had also gathered outside the ministry to protest lack of funding and shortages of personnel and medicine.

Tension rose, when protesters attempted to enter the ministry without permission. The tension was diffused with the help of riot police.

video: protesters trying to storm Greek health ministry
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Workers and insured at EVIMA vehicles insurance group took also to the streets after the decision of Bank of Greece to suspend the operation of the company. Workers claim there was no reason for the company to close down, insured complain about being left without insurance and a total of 270,000 vehicle owners have to seek another alternative solutions for their cars.

 

Farmers continue their protests and will symbolically block national highways 2-3 p.m. and thus on a dialy basis as they are not satisfied with the offers of Agriculture Ministry. In Sesklo, Pilion, farmers came face to face with the riot police, as the first moved their tractors towards the highway.

Greek journalists association ESHEA has declared a work stoppage at all private media outlets from 12 o’clock noon until 3 p.m. demanding for the signature of new collective bargain, cancelling of personal labour contracts and revoke of personnel lay-offs.

Journalists at state broadcaster ERT (NET) are on strike since one week protesting the end of temporary labour contracts and the non-extension of them. Many news and information programs are left without presenters and journalistic back up teams.

Tthe big blow to workers in the private sector is expected on upcoming Thursday as 600,000 employees at 42 private sectors will see the end of collective bargains. Thousands of workers, especially those working at the banking, industry and maritime sectors,  will face (further) wages cuts in an average of 30%. The end of collective bargains was dictated by the Troika in order to boost ‘competitiveness”.

PS a friend, 29, IT programmer, was recently offered a job. 8h/day x 6 days/week. Salary? 450 euro per month. Gross!!!

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