Strikers disrupt ferry departures

Defying a court decision that ruled a ferry strike illegal, scores of militant ships’ engineers, assorted unionists and students joining in a legal civil servants’ strike disrupted departures from the port of Piraeus yesterday, preventing passengers from boarding and clashing with port police. The incidents started at 7 a. m., with strikers lining up outside ships. Following repeated charges by baton-wielding port police, they were dispersed long enough to allow passengers – but no vehicles – to board. Some ferries were able to depart, but others remained in port as strikers clung to boarding ramps even after they had been raised. Skirmishes continued well into the evening, with five arrests made. Merchant Marine Minister Giorgios Anomeritis said not a single seaman had joined the strike. «It is inconceivable that the islands should suffer due to people who are not even seamen and whose strike was not legal,» he said. The strike was organized by a Communist Party-affiliated union. Meanwhile, civil servants held a 24-hour strike against proposed pension reforms. Did the Greeks win or did the Turks lose Greece?