Greece's government has proposed legislation to extend the short-term contracts of some 2,000 firefighters, on the day they expired, following union protests.
Hundreds of firefighters protested peacefully outside parliament, where lawmakers debated the draft legislation that is expected to be voted on later Thursday.
Union officials say 4,000 of Greece's 12,000 firefighters are on five-year contracts expiring Thursday. The proposed law would allow 2,000 of them to serve another three years on short-term contracts before being granted full-time jobs.
Greece has been relying on billions of euros in international rescue loans since 2010. In return, it implemented deep spending and income cuts, and froze public sector hirings.
The country's continued problems in meeting all bailout conditions have frequently seen its future in Europe's joint currency brought into question.