For one more day, a group of laid-off cleaning ladies had gathered outside Greek Finance Ministry to protest the loss of work place and income. A delegation even managed to meet with the general secretary of the ministry and submit their request and thus in times of austerity and recession.
But four cleaners who happened to be in the passage next to the ministry where the side entrance is located, had to experience the violence of riot police.
The women were kicked and pushed and carried away by riot policemen in full uniform. One woman was slightly hurt in the hand.
The violent scenes were captured by the camera of Tatiana Bolari, a Eurokinissi photo-reporter. Bolari herself fell victim of police violence during a anti-austerity protest.
Tatiana Bolari during anti-austerity protest in October 2011
While the pictures are making the rounds in Greek internet, immediate support came from the Federation of Tax Officers. In a statement, they spoke of “indescribable violence”.
“Scenes of indescribable violence against four defenseless women (aged 50-60) unfolded today at the side entrance of the Ministry. These women had been struggling for the last six months for their implicit right to work for 500 euro.
Today’s protest had the obvious request … to finally meet with the Minister who has been refusing to meet with them for the last six months. The Finance Ministry had better applied its rigorousness in combating tax evasion instead of doing this on the backs of the cleaners and everyone who is fighting for the sacred right to work.”
The cleaners were sent home with 75% of the salary for maximum 8 months and then they will be laid-off officially in the context of “availability scheme.”
Cleaners’ Banner: “Gift for tax evaders, Lay-Offs for cleaners”