Dockers clash with riot police

Police fired tear gas at striking dockworkers late yesterday as they attempted to force their way into the offices of the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) to protest plans for its privatization. About 1,000 workers gathered outside OLP’s offices and clashed with police as a small group of representatives attempted to meet with OLP management to discuss plans to hand over its terminal management services to a private operator. There were no reports of arrests or serious injuries. The port workers dispersed after police fired tear gas but then regrouped and continued their protest action. The board was meeting to outline the terms of the tender deal that will partially privatize port services as part of Greece’s 2008 state sell-off plan. The government also plans to hand over terminal management services in Thessaloniki to private operators in a procedure expected to be launched by the end of the month.