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Chaos in the streets of Athens in the days before Christmas

17 December 2010 / 09:12:24  GRReporter
3172 reads

The week before Christmas will be loaded with strikes as a Christmas tree with lights. Only buses will run in Athens between 9.00 am and 9.00 pm on Monday, December 20. Employees in all other transport companies will be on a 24-hour labour strike. There will be no transport for another 24 hours on Tuesday, December 21. Buses will run again from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm on December 23 while the employees of the other transport companies have not yet decided what to do. No public transport will run on Friday, Christmas Eve, for four hours from 12 o’clock at noon.

Public transport companies in Athens announced also that they will not work on Friday, December 17. The subway, electric and intercity trains, buses, trolleys and trams will not run between 11.00 am and 4.00 pm on Friday. The union of the employees in public transport will meet in the same time at Titania Hotel in the city center to bring together the employees from different companies for the coming protests.

The main reason for the strikes of transport workers is their disagreement with the government's plan to reform the public transport companies. After the list of unprofitable state enterprises was announced public transport companies proved to be among those with the highest deficit - more than two billion euros for the public transport and over ten billion euros for the national railways. The government of George Papandreou announced that it will implement a recovery plan through revising and cutting costs in various companies, merging most of them into a single organization, cutting some of the lines, and later resorting to partial privatization. Minister of Transport and Infrastructure Dimitris Repas promised that there wont’ be dismissals and employees who will lose their positions because of the reform will be transferred to another office under the supervision of the Ministry of Transport.

Greek journalists will go on a 48-hour strike on December 17 and 18. As result, Greece won’t read any Sunday editions of newspapers and magazines this weekend. The journalist trade union demands the government to guarantee their jobs, eliminate the individual employment agreements, protect the reserves of the insurance funds, and meet these requirements until December 31, 2011, when will be the time for signing the new collective labour agreement for the employees in the media sector. Medical staff on fixed-term contracts in state hospitals in Attica region and stock-brokers are the other discontent employees who are also expected to strike on Friday, December 17.


Tags: SocietyStrikesProtestsGreecePublic transportTraffic jams
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