Greek labor unions call for new general strike over austerity measures next week

10:03, July 02, 2010      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Greek General Confederation of Employees declared on Thursday afternoon a new nationwide strike in Greece on July 8, when the Greek parliament is scheduled to ratify a social security and pension reform bill.

It will be the 7th general strike in the debt-ridden country this year, as labor unions and employees object to austerity measures and changes in the labor market imposed by the government due to an acute economic crisis.

On June 29 thousands of protesters held one more rally in front of the parliament denouncing cutbacks in wages and pensions, tax hikes and the planned increases to the minimum retirement age.

"We will not accept new policies that are unbearable to low income families. We will not stop the struggle until the government will withdraw the bill," said a statement released by the Confederation, shortly after an unscheduled meeting with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Thursday afternoon.

According to Greek media reports, the representatives of labor unions discussed with Papandreou and Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou and Labor Minister Andreas Loverdos on the issues such as the preservation of the 13th and 14th salaries of private sector employees.

These Christmas, Easter and summer holiday bonuses that amount to two-month salaries of Greek employees have already been cut in the public sector, as the government implements a harsh austerity program to put the national economy on the right track in three years.

Under pressure by European Union and the International Monetary Fund, the Greek government has implemented harsh measures to cut salaries of public servants and increased taxes on gas and some other commodities.

"Hard decisions are necessary to eventually protect fundamental rights of Greeks. We are still committed to the targets set in our program," said Papandreou during a cabinet meeting on Thursday, referring to pledges the now ruling socialist PASOK party made before last year's general election on improving living standards in Greece.

"But the struggle today is to avoid bankruptcy," Papandreou added, stressing that the government now is focused on meeting the goals set to overcome the crisis and return to growth and prove to people that their sacrifices will lead to a better future.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

  • Do you have anything to say?

双语词典
dictionary

  
Special Coverage
  • Premier Wen Jiabao visits Hungary, Britain, Germany
  • From drought to floods
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • Photo taken on Sept. 29, 2011 shows strong wind blows trees in Sanya, south China's Hainan Province. Typhoon Nesat heads towards south China and is moving at an average wind speed of 20 km per hour toward the west coast of China's Guangdong Province. (Xinhua/Hou Jiansen)
  • A fallen tree is seen on a road in Qionghai, south China's Hainan Province, Sept. 29, 2011. Typhoon Nesat was predicted to land in Hainan later Thursday, bringing heavy rainfalls to the island. (Xinhua/Meng Zhongde)
  • A man visits "Thy Word Is Truth, the Bible Ministry Exhibition of the Protestant Church in China", during its opening at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church in Washington DC, capital of the United States, Sept. 28, 2011. Through the Bible's various Chinese versions, ancient or modern, as well as pictures, paintings, calligraphy, art works and historical documents, the exhibition was expected to give an overall understanding of how Bible was brought into China, how it was translated, published, distributed and loved. (Xinhua/Zhang Jun)
  • A visitor passes by in the exhibition of Istanbul design week on Sept. 28, 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul design week will be hosting designers and design exhibitions from around the world in Istanbul from Sept 28 to Oct 2 with the participation of 25 countries. (Xinhua/Ma yan)
  • Red flag flies at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, Sept. 28, 2011. A spokesperson with China's manned space program said Wednesday that fuel has been injected into the Long March-2FT1 carrier rocket in preparation for launching the Tiangong-1 space module Thursday evening as planned. (Xinhua/Wang Jianmin)
  • A militant loyal to the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) waves in a tank near Bani Walid, one of the pro-Muammar Gaddafi strongholds, on Sept. 28, 2011. (Xinhua/Hamza Turkia)
Hot Forum Discussion