Police unrest resurfaces for ND

Police unionists forced their way into the headquarters of the ruling New Democracy party yesterday to protest the government’s refusal to grant them better pension benefits even though the conservatives agreed last week to give officers a pay rise. A group of some 50 officers briefly took over the building, catching party officials by surprise as the government thought it had settled its dispute with the police force. The police were protesting against a refusal to add a bonus of five years to the retirement pay of all officers. The unionists argue that the police work six days a week, not five, and over the course of 30 years this means that they clock up an extra five years that are not recognized by their pension fund. Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras, who championed the officers’ efforts to increase their pay by 8 percent, indicated that he was disappointed by the latest protest. «I ask them [police officers] to be careful not to isolate themselves from the force and Greek society,» said Polydoras, who had threatened to resign until Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis agreed to increase police wages. Yesterday’s protest ended peacefully but the unionists said that they would take further action, starting with organized rallies across Greece on November 28.

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