Doctors, teachers walk off job

State hospital doctors and school teachers in Greece walked off the job on Wednesday, while some 1,000 demonstrators held a rally in the center of the capital to protest cutbacks in the health and education sectors.

Medics employed by the Social Security Foundation (IKA) also stayed away from work for a second day on Wednesday, calling for the renewal of short-term employment contracts with Greece’s largest social security fund.

Hundreds of protesters, including school teachers, students, parents and doctors, took part in a march through central Athens on Wednesday, reacting to plans by the Socialist government to merge hospitals and schools.

The measures are designed to trim Greece’s monster debt in line with demands by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Before reaching the Parliament, protesters made a stop outside City Hall to express their support for the municipality’s contract workers. Unionists, who have been staging a sit-in protest at the building on Kotzia Square for two weeks, are protesting Athens Mayor Giorgios Kaminis’s refusal to renew their contracts or to make their positions permanent.

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