The week started with police firing tear gas against school guards protesting Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The school guards had moved early on Monday morning to the ministry to force a meeting with the minister. They blocked the building entrance.
At 7 o’ clock riot police forces fired tear gas in order to disperse the crowd so that the minister and the employees would enter the building.
Three school guards were taken to the hospital as they suffered from serious breathing problems.
Video from Skai morning magazine:
The police action angered the protesters who blocked the whole Vasilissis Sofias Avenue in downtown Athens. At 8 o’clock the minister attempted to reach his work place but the protesters jeered at him. The car convoy moved away and an hour later Mitsotakis decided to go to his office …”undercover”: he put on his motorcycle helmet and drove to his work.
Surprise! Minister Mitsotakis wearing a helmet and riding his motorcycle goes to work (via enikos.gr)
Later the minister met with a protesters’ delegation. The school guards demand to return to work.
With the Troika putting pressure for a lean Greek state, the government abolished the institution of school guards sending home more than 2,000 people.
“it’s not suicide, it’s murder”
The meeting between the minister and the protesters did not ease the tension. The school guards launched a sit-protest in the middle of the road blocking traffic in one of main streets in the city’s centre.
Pulling and dragging a protester…
The invervention of riot police was inevitable.
Two women have been reportedly transferred to hospital after suffering panic attacks, while there are reports that some protesters fainted.
Mobility scheme & week long strikes
The school guards are only one section of the public administration that goes home in the context of ‘mobility scheme”. A total of 15,000 civil servants have to be sent home by end of 2014 with 70% of their salary for 8 months. If no new work places are found for them in the public sector, they will be dismissed.
This week is marked with mass protests of civil servants, primary, secondary and university and college teachers launching strikes and the public sector union ADEDY initiating a 48-hour strike on September 18th and 19th 2013.
The “hot autumn” they warned us off has started….
more pictures and videos here