Hospital staff protest austerity with black balloons


Hundreds of hospital staff protested cutbacks in Athens on Thursday, some driving ambulance service vehicles and others on motorcycles or horses. The union of hospital workers said the government’s promise to hire 4,000 staff using money raised from a recent television license auction was a lie, claiming that any new jobs would be short-term contracts. ‘We keep hearing about hirings at hospitals but we haven’t seen any,’ the union said, claiming there are 7,695 fewer permanent staff at hospitals in Greece today than when the coalition came to power last year. [Alexandros Vlachos/EPA]