Public sector workers in Greece have been swept up in a 24 hour strike, protesting against pension reforms, privatisations and job cuts. Battered by the global financial crisis, the strikers accuse the conservative government of only helping the rich.
Ilias Venetakos, the vice president of the Adedy Union, which called the strike, said: “We want a change of economic policy both by the European Union and the Greek government because we believe the workers have been the ones who paid for the profits of businesses so they should not be the ones who pay for their losses too.” Protests caused airports, schools and tax offices to be closed, and services at ministries were suspended. One teacher said: “The government gave the banks 28 billion euros because of the crisis. Shouldn’t it support workers’ losses with the same amount?” The ruling conservatives have been hit by a series of heavy protests recently: riots against the police in December, demonstrations by farmers in January, and by truckers last week.