The leadership of Greek police ordered an internal investigation against a riot policeman who hit a protesting cleaner on the head. Caught red-handed on a video, the footage shows an arm to be raised behind a shield and to hit cleaner Fotini Nikitara on the head. For no reason. At the time of the abuse, there were no clashes between the riot police and the protesting cleaners. The incident took place on Tuesday, June 10th, when the laid-off cleaners were protesting outside the Finance Minister, responsible for their lay-off. The video capturing the moment of the devious hit was uploaded by website dromografos, The internal investigation aims to identify the riot policeman.
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In a parallel development of the issue of the laid-off cleaners Greece’s Supreme Court accepted the appeal of the Finance Ministry to put a court order to rehire the cleaners on hold. The Supreme Court will decide on September 23rd 2014.
Last year, the Finance Ministry set more than 400 cleaners working for the several departments of the FinMin in the so-called “mobility scheme”, that is they were sent home with 75% of their salary for eight months and the option to be definitely fired.
393 of the cleaners went to court asking to be hired again. In May the first instance court in Athens ordered their rehiring citing as major reasoning that
- the wages between €373 and €750 gross per month would not significantly add to the states’ struggle to save money as the services were being done by private companies.
- the majority of the cleaners were 45-60 years old and had hardly a chance to get another job in a country with 27% unemployment.
The Finance Ministry refused to follow the court order and appealed to Supreme Court, practically in order to delay the rehiring or even cancel it at all.
The cleaners have been protesting outside the Finance Ministry since several months and clashes between them and the riot police occur much too often.
Upon hearing the Supreme Court decision on Thursday, the cleaners said that they would continue their struggle till the end.