Army may have to be called in to collect waste, mayor says

Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis has urged striking garbage collectors to clear accumulated rubbish from the capital’s sensitive areas, such as schools and hospitals, as they represent a public health hazard.

?Employees are not even collecting hospital waste,? Kaminis told Skai television early on Monday, adding that the inaction poses a huge health risk and it defies common sense.

?[Calling in the army] is the only solution left,» the mayor warned.

Soldiers have in the past been drafted to collect trash in Greece — Thessaloniki Mayor Yannis Boutaris made a similar decision earlier this year.

Municipal refuse collectors, who are protesting fresh wage cuts and impending layoffs, have opposed socialist government plans to bring in private workers to clear tons of accumulated rubbish by threatening that ?blood will flow in the streets.?

Riot police on Sunday evicted protesting municipal workers from the site of the capital?s main landfill in Ano Liosia to allow private trucks to dump tons of trash that have accumulated on the streets of Athens.

More than 6,000 tons of garbage has piled up on the streets, prompting experts to warn of a public health risk.

Kaminis, who described the strike as «illegal,» said that ?no one [employee] has been paid, and no one will be paid who has not worked.?

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