Greece dockworkers protest at government debt-swap deal

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Greece dockworkers protest at government debt-swap deal

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Dockworkers gathered outside Greece’s central bank in Athens to protest against a debt swap deal they say has cost them their savings.

The deal was part of efforts to keep the country from defaulting, as Greece’s economy is engulfed in a euro crisis and has needed billions in bailouts.

Referring to the old man who killed himself outside parliament on Wednesday, Secretary of the Union of Dockworkers Fotis Siakaras said: “They lowered our pensions. We can’t take anymore. We should all commit suicide.”

The protesters say the government-agreed debt swap money comes from a compensation reservation fund paid into by the dockworkers themselves.

Scuffles broke out between the police and demonstrators who shouted “Thieves! Take the austerity package and get out!”

The biggest debt restructuring in history has been accepted by 97 percent of Greece’s creditors.