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Thousands gather for May Day rallies against pension fund scandal

Thousands gather for May Day rallies against pension fund scandal

Thousands of workers gathered in Athens and other cities on Tuesday for May Day protest rallies against the conservative government's handling of a recent pension scandal.
Three rallies were under way in the Greek capital, including at central Syntagma Square next to the parliament building. The country's largest union organization, the General Confederation of Employees of Greece, and the civil servants' union both participated.
Workers also rallied in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest, and other cities for traditional rallies on the May 1 labor day, a public holiday.
Their demands include restitution of lost pension monies and a 35-hour working week. Employment Minister Savvas Tsitouridis resigned on Saturday after weeks of criticism following the discovery that a state pension fund overpaid euro4.8 million (US$6.5 million) on state bonds.
Police were out in force at Tuesday's demonstrations, following increased street violence by anarchists in recent days. Early Monday, unidentified attackers damaged a north Athens police station with a grenade and machine gun fire.
Major roads in Athens were closed to traffic, while striking workers disrupted public transport with rolling stoppages on bus, trolley and metro services. State-run Olympic Airlines was forced to cancel dozens of domestic and international flights, while national and local train services were also disrupted.


Updated : 2021-06-16 08:51 GMT+08:00