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Greek teachers lead off a week of public sector strikes

Greek teachers lead off a week of public sector strikes
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A week of planned strikes in Greece kicked off on Monday with the teachers’ unions, which have reported a near 90 percent turnout of their members who are angry at public spending cuts.

Civil servants are to go on strike for 48 hours from Wednesday. Around 12,500 of them are due to be suspended in a bid to save money.

“The only thing we demand and fight for is that the troika leaves our country, that the government, the European Union and the IMF, who for four years have imposed these policies that have impoverished Greek society, also leave,” said Grigoris Kalomiris, a teacher and representative of the civil servants’ union ADEDY.

Greece’s budget figures are slightly better, but have been paid for at a high price; unemployment is over 27 percent, and a deep economic recession is now in its sixth year.

“During this week of strikes in Greece various categories of state employees are planning to demonstrate their opposition to government plans for a major restructuring in the civil service. But as the government voices its determination not to reverse course, this week’s demonstrations are only the beginning of bitter strife between the Greek state and its employees that is going to last for months to come,” says euronews’ Stamatis Giannisis in Athens.