Scuffles break out at municipal workers’ rally


Protesters clashed with riot police and tried to barge their way into Parliament on Thursday during a rally by disgruntled municipal workers.

The POE-OTA union is holding a 24-hour strike and organized the march to the Interior Ministry to protest staff shortages that have resulted from the expiry of hundreds of short-term contracts.

Protesters tore at the metal shutters blocking the entrance of the Interior Ministry and set fire to piles of garbage from nearby dumpsters before making their way to Parliament. They also heckled a group of municipal representatives who arrived for the talks at the ministry, headed by the president of the KEDE association of local authorities, Giorgos Patoulis.

The union is demanding that thousands of short-term contracts be renewed and that those workers are granted permanent status, a move that would be in violation with a recent ruling by the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court.

The sudden staff shortage and the strike have resulted in a pileup of trash in the Greek capital, with local authorities urging citizens not to take out the garbage until the situation is resolved, particularly as a heat wave has been forecast over the weekend.