Workers on the warpath as Greek PM fights for aid

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Workers on the warpath as Greek PM fights for aid

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With the Greek prime minister in Brussels fighting for the aid the country needs to avoid bankruptcy, workers at home have been on the warpath over austerity.

Trade unions blockaded energy company buildings to protest an emergency tax being collected through electricity bills.

“Today is the first day they are issuing orders for power cuts to those who have not paid,” said Kostas Kosaros, General Secretary of the GENOP union.

“That is why we took this building over last night.”

The government is facing an angry population hit by ongoing austerity cuts that have pushed Greece’s economy into a fourth year of recession.

The premier will get the latest aid installment, in the view of an Athens resident who did not give his name. But he added that Greece should not have to give international lenders a written pledge it will see the reforms through.

“I think there is a specific economic plan being promoted on a European level and I think it is very difficult to change it,” said fellow Athens dweller George Kirtisis.

Belt-tightening measures have hit incomes and caused job losses, driving unemployment to a record 18 per cent. New to the job, more than two thirds of voters back Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, for now at least.