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Main Greek unions side with teachers in public demonstration

Main Greek unions side with teachers in public demonstration

Civil servants and workers' unions were to join striking schoolteachers Thursday in what was expected to be a major midday public demonstration in central Athens, in another sign of increasing social and political tension ahead of municipal elections.
The main union of civil servants called a 24-hour strike and the union of bank employees a four-hour stoppage in support of primary and kindergarten teachers, who are now into their third week of strikes. They are demanding a 45 percent rise in starting salaries and the cancellation of proposed governmental education reforms, and have staged a series of demonstrations in recent weeks.
High school teachers were also planning further action after carrying out a 48-hour sympathy strike on Monday and Tuesday, while the country's largest labor union was also expected to join Thursday's demonstration.
Traffic problems were also anticipated as Athens trolley bus drivers announced a four-hour stoppage from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to attend their union's general meeting.
The conservative government, which earlier this week unveiled an austerity budget for 2007, has rejected the teachers' economic demands as jeopardizing the country's economic future, while opposition parties have used the strikes as occasion to criticize the governing party in the run-up to local elections on October 15.


Updated : 2021-05-17 00:35 GMT+08:00