Greek workers strike
against pension cuts
parts of the Greek capital came to a standstill on
Tuesday as Greek transport workers joined a 24-hour
public sector strike over pension cuts.
Buses, trolleys, trams and metro transportation was out
of operation for the day. Workers from the Athens
suburban railway Proastiakos and intercity trains
announced they would also participate in the strikes.
Public hospitals operated on minimal staff, as the
Panhellenic Federation of Public Hospitals Workers (POEDIN)
also took part in the protests.
Most ferries at the ports of Piraeus, Lavrio and Rafina
remained docked on Tuesday, as five seamen’s unions
joined the strike, led by the Panhellenic Union of
Merchant Navy Seamen (PENEN).
Protesters marched onto Syntagma Square in front of the
Parliament building, where the contentious legislation
would be voted on by conservative MPs.
Workers’ unions claim that the bill “privatizes social
security and pushes thousands of young workers to seek
private superannuation cover.”
They also accuse the government of reneging on a promise
to rescind all austerity cuts.
“The bill is nothing less than a continuation of the
austerity measures that were voted in 2010-2019 and
resulted in pension cuts of 20% up to 60%,” said ADEDY,
the country’s largest public sector union, in a
The deep economic crisis within the Greek as well as the
European economy, particularly within the private
banking sector, drove Greece to the brink of bankruptcy
in 2010 and forced the Governments to borrow heavily
from the European Union and the International Monetary
In return for billions of euros to rescue the private
business sector and the banks from bankruptcy, the Greek
Governments agreed to relinquish publish assets such as
airports, hospitals and schools and handed them over to
the powerful European corporations. The Greek
Governments also accepted harsh austerity reforms and
severe pension cuts.