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Policemen, firefighters and coastguards joined the chain of protests in Athens

15 December 2010 / 10:12:51  GRReporter
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Anastasia Balezdrova

Over 1500 men and women in uniforms took part in a protest rally organized by the trade unions of police, firefighters and members of the coast guard in front of building of the old Parliament in Athens. Operating officers from all over Greece but also their retired colleagues gathered around the monument of Theodoros Kolokotronis to express their discontent with the measures of fiscal discipline and stabilization the government is trying to implement.

Holding placards which read slogans like "No more reductions. Your earnings cost people’s lives.", "We were seduced. They will get the message now." and "Mr. Prime Minister, why have you forgotten your promises?" the protesters listened to the speeches of members of leftist parties and their unions leaders. "We will fight together for any problems of the working people and we will not allow anyone to use us as a tool to suppress the protests of other unions. This is our message," stated Christos Fotopoulos, President of the Panhellenic Federation of Police.

"We can not afford our income to be further reduced, our security rights to be scorned and the labour relations to be violated. We want to state with the protest today that we will not pay for the crisis we didn’t cause," said George Drivakos, President of the Panhellenic Federation of Coast Guard Trade Unions. "The government put security forces in a very difficult situation. We invite all working people to fight against the Memorandum," said Hrisot Pandoulakis, President of the Federation of Firefighters.

The protesters rally went up the Stadiou Street. It stopped in front of the Ministry of Finance and the protesters began chanting slogans like "Protect those who protect you." A delegation of trade unionists entered the building and handed the common requests resolution to the Secretary General of the Ministry Ilias Plaskovitis. Then the protesters went to Syntagma Square and came to the Parliament building. They joined about 30 colleagues of theirs from security forces around the police buses that had blocked the traffic on the Vassilis Sofias Street. There were at least 50 police officers behind them from the riot forces who guarded the Parliament.

Unionists were allowed in the building where they met with the President of the Parliament Chairman Filippos Petsalnikos, who was also handed the resolution of their claims. After the meeting that lasted more than half an hour the President of the Panhellenic Federation of Police Christos Fotopoulos informed the participants in the protest on its results. He said the President has accepted the text with the claims and has promised to submit it to the competent ministers.

 

Tags: Police protestCoast guardFirefightersStrikeEconomic reforms
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