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General strike will paralyze Greece on Wednesday

22 February 2010 / 12:02:48  GRReporter
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General strike will paralyze Greece on Wednesday when employees from the private and public sectors will stop working for 24 hours. Their unions - GSEE and ADEDI react to the measures the government announced under the pressure of the EU and international markets. 

Employees in ministries, in state offices, hospitals, schools, universities, banks, traders, employees of courts and workers in the factories, will join the strike along with journalists, pilots and captains. 

Only employees of the metro and public transportation will not strike in order to facilitate the movement of people to places where protest demonstrations will be held. Buses will run between 10:00AM and 04:00PM. The two largest trade unions of employees of the public and private sectors - and ADEDI GSEE will hold a general demonstration on Pedio tou Areos square (11:00AM).  Members of the Communist Party in Greece will demonstrate on Omonia Square (12:00PM). On the same day due to the strike of journalists there will be neither TV and radio newscasts nor newspapers on Thursday. 

Some of the demands are: implementation of various economic policies that will enhance investment, development, the state's role as supervisor and mentor, the redistribution of tax burdens, increased buying opportunities for workers, increased employment and stronger social security. 

Union members want discharges to be frozen and industrial relations to be prohibited in cases where employees work without insurance. Moreover, leaders of trade unions want to sign a new collective agreement, which will increase the minimum wage to €740 and will not increase the age limit for retirement, will not cut pensions and will discover new resources to increase the funding of pension insurance system. Finally, the program for stabilization should become a program for development and employment. 

For their part, yesterday evening customs officials decided to end their strike. In the beginning, most union members wanted the strike to continue until Wednesday, but ultimately decided to break it and wait for the government's response to their demands. Custom officials stopped their strike for two reasons - first, the court in Athens declared it to be illegal, and secondly, in Thessaloniki and Crete custom officials broke away from the strike and started work. When it comes to fuels 95% of gas stations have acquired gasoline and the situation is normalized.

Tags: Strike Demonstration Protest Greece
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