Greek Civil Servants Stage 24-hour Strike Over Austerity Plan

By on 15/07/2015
Greek MPs Back Eurozone Deal Laws Amidst Protests

Public sector workers in Greece are today staging a 24-hour walk-out in protest against new austerity measures agreed by Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras.

After a weekend of often-acrimonious negotiations, Tsipras on Monday negotiated a deal comprising €86bn ($96bn) in new loans with European creditors in return for an even-tougher austerity plan than the one the Greek people rejected overwhelmingly in a referendum on 5 July.

He reluctantly agreed to reforms to VAT and pensions, to avoid bankruptcy and keep Greece in the Eurozone. But to finalise the deal with creditors, these pledges must be legislated by the Greek parliament by the end of today.

As parliament votes, civil servants and employees from hospitals and universities have walked out; while pharmacists are also on strike, angered at plans to de-regulate their profession.

Today’s strike was called on Monday by Greece’s largest public sector trade union ADEDY.

A demonstration is planned for 7pm on Syntagma Square in Athens where the Greek parliament is based, and police have ordered Syntagma metro station to be closed from 6pm today, reports say.

The metro shut down at peak time and suburban trains will not run for 24 hours, Euronews reports.

The latest deal was a major capitulation from Tsipra’s anti-austerity Syriza party, which stormed to power promising an end to austerity.

Tsipras has described the deal as a “one-way street” imposed on Greece and the rest of his government shared his scepticism.

Tsipras must now face down a rebellion in his own party to push through the reforms and spending cuts.

Dozens of MPs, including senior Syriza figures and the government’s junior coalition partner, could reject or partially reject the bailout, forcing Tsipras to rely on pro-European opposition lawmakers to carry the vote, which is expected after midnight.

A snap election could follow if the prime minister’s majority collapses.

About Winnie Agbonlahor

Winnie is news editor of Global Government Forum. She previously reported for Civil Service World – the trade magazine for senior UK government officials. Originally from Germany, Winnie first came to the UK in 2006 to study a BA in Journalism & Russian at the University of Sheffield. She is bilingual in English and German, and, after spending an academic year abroad in Russia and reporting for the Moscow Times, Winnie also speaks Russian fluently.

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