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The week of protests has begun

15 October 2012 / 19:10:11  GRReporter
1878 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

Social protests resumed dynamically on the first working day of the week. Today's protest meeting in front of the Ministry of Employment gathered representatives of different professional groups.

Among them there were engineers working in the public sector and dozens of metallurgists from Thessaloniki. They had arrived in Athens to protest against the closure of the factory in which they were working and against the fact that they have not received salaries for 17 months.

"They have just closed the plant and they are not dealing with it. We want to introduce our proposal to all working people who are employees of troubled companies to take them on a cooperative basis and to save them," the president of their association told GRReporter.

Engineers, in turn, protested against the increase in their insurance contributions and the "destruction" of their insurance fund. According to the chairman of the union, the fund lost several hundred thousand euro during the voluntary haircut of the Greek sovereign debt. "The Bank of Greece is still cutting funds and the ultimate goal is to bring each of them into the National Organization for Health Care Provision. At the same time, they are increasing the contributions. They are between 250 to 300 euro per month at present and much higher in some cases, and the colleagues cannot pay them."

A representative of the institution received the union representatives. Several detachments of the riot forces were guarding the Ministry because at that time, there was a meeting of official representatives with the supervisory Troika’s technical team members.

Shortly after 1 pm, the engineers’ procession set off along Stadiou Street to the Bank of Greece. They displayed their banner in front of it and walked away after less than half an hour.

At the same time, the leaderships of trade unions of engineers, lawyers, physicians, pharmacists and representatives of other qualified professionals had a meeting at the building of the Athens Bar Association.

The joint general scientific front, as they named the joint initiative, will hold a 24-hour strike, a protest meeting and a procession to the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday. It will involve physicians, lawyers, judges, notaries and pharmacists.

It has become clear after the meeting that the lawyers, who had initially intended to strike only on Wednesday, will extend their strike for another two days. So, they will not be in courtrooms from 17 to 19 October.

Wednesday will be a day of strike for journalists too. Television and radio stations will cut their newscasts and broadcasts until 6 pm on Thursday - the day of the general strike organized by the major trade unions of employees in the public and private sector GSEE and ADEDY. Journalists will not perform their duties between 11 am and 3 pm again.

Tags: SocietyProtestsStrikeEngineersPhysiciansLawyers
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