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Communists have occupied the Ministry of Employment

30 January 2013 / 14:01:34  GRReporter
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About 40 members of the trade union of the Communist Party of Greece, PAME, have occupied the 8th floor of the Ministry of Employment, where the office of Minister Yiannis Vroutsis is located.

The union president George Perros is at the head of the group. Communist union members are scattered in the hallways where they are shouting slogans and demanding to meet with the Minister. So far, it is unclear whether he is in his office.

According to sources, the "occupiers" had suddenly broken into the building. They came in through the entrance in groups without warning or a procession. Currently, there are two detachments of riot police forces on the 8th floor whose members are gradually repelling the members of PAME in order to drive them out of the building.

Another detachment used tear gas to disperse their comrades, who had gathered in front of the Ministry’s entrance. The police intervention enraged the members of the Communist trade union. Then, clashes followed, during which two people were injured as stated by trade unionists.
 
The police were able to bring the thirty-six occupants out of the Minister's office. The police bus that transported them to the police headquarters of Attica set off late, because at each of its attempts, members of the trade union stood before it to prevent it from leaving.

After a new police raid, the bus left for Alexandras Avenue. At the same time, members of PAME began gathering there to express their solidarity with the detainees. Their protest stopped the traffic on Alexandras Avenue.

According to sources, the occupiers caused damage in offices, which are located on the same floor as the ministerial office. They broke the door of the office of the minister's adviser and caused minor damage to bags and other items they had found there.

In his statement, government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said that "the government will not allow the repetition of such acts." He added that the rush into the office of Yiannis Vroutsis and the threats made to him aimed to put a strain on the political climate in a difficult period for Greece. "All who use methods of violence within the competition between extremists should know that society is against them, because it understands what their motives are," said Simos Kedikoglou.

The Communist Party responded with an angry message accusing the government of violence, arrests and violent attacks against trade unionists.

The occupation was organized in protest against the statements of the Minister of Employment, who said that the social security system in Greece had been established on the basis of "clientelist perceptions." "As a result, it is today a patchwork of exemptions and special regimes. It is necessary to urgently change it to make it equitable for all."

In response, the Communist Party's press office issued a communication in which it defined the Minister’s words as the "arrogance of a thief."

Tags: SocietyPAMECommunist trade unionOccupationMinistry of EmploymentPolice
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