Laid-off cleaners protest outside General Accounting Office

Laid-off cleaning staff from the Finance Ministry were on Wednesday staging a protest outside the General Accounting Office in Athens.

Cleaners, now in their second month of protest, were demanding a meeting with deputy Finance Minister Christos Staikouras.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court put on hold a ruling by a lower court ordering the Finance Ministry to rehire about 400 sacked cleaners.

The ministry had sought a temporary suspension of last month’s First Instance Court decision, which ruled that the government was wrong to dismiss the workers as part of public sector reforms. The ministry argued that the First Instance Court does not have the authority to rule on such matters and that the sackings were in the national interest.

Lawyers representing the cleaners argued that the government fired the workers illegally and was wrong not to abide by the court ruling.