Judges plan to strike over pay cuts

Judges and prosecutors are to meet Friday and Saturday to plan strike action after a meeting between unionists representing them and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras ended in deadlock, with the latter insisting that plans for additional cuts of up to 25 percent to their salaries would go ahead as part of a broader austerity package.

Judges did not determine Thursday what form their action would take but the president of the Athens Association of Magistrates and Prosecutors, Roussos Papadakis, gave an indication of the mood in comments to reporters after the talks with Stournaras.

?There were no points of convergence,? he said, adding that all 71 magistrates and prosecutors registered in Athens agreed to stop taking case work home, the only way most sector professionals manage to stay on top of their workload. Papadakis said that similar action would be taken elsewhere in Greece.

Sources suggested that the sector professionals might stage a five-day strike which would paralyze courts.

Unionists are to have talks Friday with Fotis Kouvelis, the head of the third party in the coalition, Democratic Left, and will reportedly try to secure a meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

Representatives of other sectors receiving the so-called ?special salaries? that are coming under the knife in a new austerity package are also planning protest action.

Thursday teachers at kindergartens and state middle schools said they would join their elementary school colleagues in a 24-hour strike called for September 12, the day after schools open.

Also, police, fire service and coast guard officers held a protest rally at the Panathenaic Stadium in central Athens Thursday.

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