Bid to end Athens trash standoff fails

An attempt by Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis to end a weeklong protest by municipal contract workers, which has led to trash collections being disrupted, failed on Sunday.

According to Deputy Mayor Vassilis Polymeropoulos, who is in charge of sanitation, the meeting broke down after the protestors refused to end their sit-in at City Hall to allow the municipal council to meet so it could vote on the budget.

Kaminis had set this as a precondition for any further talks. The short-term contract workers are demanding that they be re-hired as their employment deals have run out. But the mayor has said that he has to follow the law, which does not allow their contracts to be renewed or made permanent.