Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Greek trade unionists protesting outside the central courts in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Yesterday was the trial of three union leaders charged with instigating an attack on a German consular official during a German - Greek conference on local authority governance. The trial was once again postponed till 28th November after key prosecution witnesses failed to turn up.

The charges are widely seen by Greek trade unions and political activist as an attempt to intimidate local authority employees who have have been waging a campaign of resistance against the first in a series of planned lay offs in town and county councils across Greece. The cuts in jobs and salaries are being demanded by the country's creditors in return for the release of the next tranche of bailout funds.

However, whether Athens will be able to impose its will on recalcitrant public sector workers is moot as just 25 of the Greece's 340 councils have submitted the names of employees to the laid off. In addition over 200 town and county council halls are currently under occupation.

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