Thousands protest as Greek workers strike over high prices, low wages By Reuters


©Reuters SUBMIT PICTURE: Commuters wait at a bus drop in Athens, Greece, September 3, 2020. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis


By Phoebe Fronista and also Karolina Tagaris

ATHENS (Reuters) -Thousands objected in Athens on Wednesday throughout a day-long across the country strike over what workers call a “deepening crisis” of increasing prices and also pressed revenues, interrupting transportation, ferryboats, colleges and also public medical facilities.

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The nation’s 2 greatest work unions, standing for regarding 2.5 million public and also economic sector workers, called the basic strike that finished in a rally outside parliament.

For much of those there, daily life has actually come to be expensive.

“Our life now is just being in debt,” stated Georgios Alexandropoulos, a 60-year-old messenger employee.

“I owe the electricity company and my landlord, I’m two months behind in rent, and I owe the last two electricity bills. Soon we will be in debt to everyone…we can’t go on like this.”

Another militant, 57-year-old psycho therapist Michalis Tokaras, stated he was compelled to “cut back on everything”.

“We have to choose between paying our mortgage or paying bills. We’ve reached the bottom,” he stated.

Police price quote a minimum of 10,000 individuals showed up for the rally. “We won’t compromise with inflation,” one banner read.

Greece arised from a years of monetary dilemma in 2018, just for the coronavirus pandemic to bring international traveling to a standstill 2 years later on, harming its crucial tourist sector.

Now, skyrocketing power prices, aggravated by permissions versus Russia considering that its intrusion of Ukraine in February, have additional pain workers’ pockets.

“For the last 14 years, workers have been carrying the burden of a deep crisis that has affected everyone’s incomes and lives,” stated GSEE, the nation’s umbrella economic sector union.

“As the years go by the crisis is constantly deepening, the burdens remain, our rights are shrinking.”

Greece’s yearly customer rising cost of living rose to a 25-year high of 7.2% in February on the back of increasing power, real estate and also transport expenses.

The federal government has actually invested regarding 3.7 billion euros ($ 4 billion) considering that September to ease the concern of increasing power and also gas expenses for farmers, houses and also organizations.

GSEE stated in March it had actually suggested a 13% boost in the month-to-month gross base pay to 751 euros because of rising cost of living.

The traditional federal government increased the base pay by 2% to 663 euros in January and also Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has actually assured a 2nd, bigger boost from May 1.

For the striking workers, the actions do not go much sufficient.

“Recently, our salaries – for those of us who have jobs – last for only half a month’s worth of expenses,” stated Christos Katsikas, a 60-year-old institution instructor.

($ 1 = 0.9191 euros)

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