Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Greek civil servants strike

According to the leading Greek newspaper Kathimerini, the next 72 hours are going to prove crucial if the government is to convince European and International money markets that Greece can be trusted to implement its Stabilisation program and reduce its massive $400 billion debt load. Athens, Greece. 10/02/2010.

The program announced this week by recently elected socialist prime minister Giorgos Papandreou has angered civil service trade unions unhappy with goods in bonuses and the promise of a two year wage freeze. In response the civil service trade union confederation ADEDY called a series of stoppages and strikes for the next three days. The action has grounded all flights in and out of the country and severely disrupted train timetables.

Anti-government demonstrations and strikes - Thessaloniki, Greece

In addition trade unions and left wing political parties organised marches in Athens, Thessaloniki and over 60 other Greek towns. Braving torrential rains thousands took to the srtreets to protest the government's austerity measures.

Despite promising wage increases and a rise in unemployment benefits the left wing PASOK government is unlikely to concede to worker's demands as such a move would weaken attempts by Athens to secure a European backed bailout package. Despite initial talk of Greece putting its own economic house in order intense pressure by speculators has raised fears that if Greece defaults on its financial commitments failure would have a knock on effect on Portugal and Spain and so threaten the Euro itself.


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