greece strikes cause transport chaos healthcare delays
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
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Greece strikes cause transport chaos, healthcare delays

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Arab Today, arab today Greece strikes cause transport chaos, healthcare delays

Demonstrators clash with police as they try to enter the parliament building in Athens.
Athens - Arab Today

Strikes in Greece have caused transport chaos and slowed hospital care and shipping as thousands of workers protested against proposed changes to a 36-year-old industrial action law demanded by the country’s creditors.

Nine thousand people demonstrated in the city centre against the overhaul, part of a multi-purpose bill to be voted on in parliament on Monday, with protesters chanting “Hands off strikes”.

At the end of the protest, police fired teargas to repel a small group of demonstrators who tried to enter the parliament building.

Further strikes and protests will be held on Monday.

Sailors and hospital doctors participated in the walkout, along with staff on the Athens metro, causing huge traffic jams in the capital as commuters used their cars instead.

The union GSEE said the bill – demanded by the country’s creditors – “deals a killing blow to workers, pensioners and the unemployed ... effectively eliminating even constitutionally safeguarded rights such as the right to strike”.

The amendment to a 1982 law sets a higher worker participation requirement for strikes to be decided at primary union assemblies, raising the participation threshold from as low as 20% to at least 50% of paying union members.

GSEE says the change will affect “99% of future strikes”, though there is speculation that unions may find ways to bypass the rules as they have done with prior attempts to limit strikes.

About 50 general strikes have been held since the start of the Greek economic crisis in 2010.

The bill also controversially moves property foreclosures online, after successive protests by anti-austerity groups targeting notaries inside courthouses.

Greece expects to draw €4.5bn (£4bn) from its bailout package after fulfilling its latest reform requirements.

The bailout agreement expires in August, after which Greece intends to finance its borrowing without a safety net for the first time in nine years.

 

Source: AFP

 

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