Greeks take to streets against new anti-strike measures


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Protesters clash with riot police outside the parliament building during a demonstration against planned government reforms that will restrict workers right to strike in Athens, Greece, January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Costas Baltas
Protesters clash with riot police outside the parliament building during a demonstration against planned government reforms that will restrict workers right to strike in Athens, Greece, January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Costas Baltas

Around 20,000 people demonstrated in the Greek cities of Athens and Thessaloniki on Monday, protesting against a new 1,500-page austerity bill, which includes measures making it harder for unions to call strikes, reported news website eKathimerini. Public transport, education, medical, and traffic control workers also walked off their jobs on Monday in protest against the anti-strike restrictions. 

The measures were attached by Greece’s creditors as part of a 2015 bailout and the country’s parliament passed the bill by 154 votes to 141 on Monday.

Greek unions could previously call strikes with the support of one third of their members. The new law raises that requirement to 50 percent. 

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rejected opposition claims (AFP) that the new bill will ban the right to strike and said (eKathimerini) that it brings Greece “just one step from the end of the bailout.” Tsipras hopes creditors will approve a review of progress – and more funds – for the country’s third, and possibly last, bailout program, which runs out in August 2018. (The Guardian).

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, leader of the opposition New Democracy party, said Tsipras was “ransoming the country’s future” and accused him of pushing through laws that he was elected to oppose and didn’t even agree with. Mitsotakis said the prime minister had “turned lying into a profession and cynicism into an art,” according to eKathimerini.

This is an emerging story which needs expansion if you wish to EDIT to add information or discuss it in TALK.

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