19/12/12 17:36 CET
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A washing line of underwear was hung out at an anti-austerity rally in the Greek capital Athens on Wednesday.
“Take these as well,” spelt the message on the rear end of the pants which supposedly belonged to Greek civil servants.
Thousands of workers took strike action and protested over the latest plans to sack thousands of public sector workers. The cuts have been promised in return for the next tranche of international bailout cash worth 49 billion euros.
Unions have admitted the strikes, which have been held regularly over the past two years, have lost some of their momentum as many Greeks can no longer afford to lose a day’s wages.
Themis Balasopoulos, President of the Municipal Workers’ Union said ordinary workers are suffering unnecessarily.
“They are drinking our blood. If you wanted to rob a worker you wouldn’t find a single euro in his pocket, because this policy has driven us to poverty and desperation.”
Kostas Tsikrikas from the main civil servants’ union ADEDY agreed, saying: “Greek workers are being violently abused, they are being driven to impoverishment and destruction. We have a humanitarian crisis in Greece.”
In Athens, about 3,000 workers marched to the ministry responsible for public sector reform.
Around 27,000 civil service positions are earmarked to be cut by next year. But Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has promised that these job losses will be the last.
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