Sitins continue as KEDKE chief calls for services to halt

As local authority workers continued sitins at municipal buildings in Athens and other cities on Friday to protest a new barrage of economic reforms, mayors from around the country attended an emergency session of the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece (KEDKE) in the capital.

The KEDKE members were to decide on how to scale up their protest action ahead of a vote next week on a multi-bill foreseeing an overhaul of the civil service, a new tax code and other changes in exchange for further rescue loans from international creditors.

KEDKE chief Costas Askounis told Parliament’s economic affairs committee, which is debating the multi-bill, that the legislation is unconstitutional and undemocratic and called for the provisions relating to a mobility scheme for civil servants to be withdrawn. Askounis proposed that municipalities suspend their operations from Monday through Wednesday when the multi-bill is expected to be voted on.

The head of the POE-OTA local authority employees’ union, Themis Balasopoulos, for his part, claimed that the multi-bill would destroy municipalities. He said employees remained defiant. “We may bleed but those unconstitutional provisions will not pass,” he said.

Protesting municipal workers gathered at noon at central Karaiskaki Square ahead of a march to Parliament. Unionists have called on workers — including municipal police and street cleaners — not to work over the weekend and to join the two main labor unions in a general strike on Tuesday.

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