NEWS

Fresh wave of protests, sit-ins

In a new wave of strike action, Athens metro workers, archaeologists and street kiosk owners walked off the job yesterday, seeking support from the cash-strapped government in various forms. A large group of employees of AMEL, the company that operates the metro, occupied the firm’s premises in Athens in the morning, calling for the reinstatement of about 250 former colleagues whose contracts expired last weekend. The protesters claim that the absence of their now-redundant colleagues is hampering the smooth operation of the metro. At the same time, dozens of state archaeologists on short-term contracts joined actors and musicians in a protest outside the offices of the Culture Ministry in Exarchia, central Athens, to demand funding. There were problems in other cities too. In Thessaloniki and another 44 prefectures, street kiosk owners launched a three-day strike over tax hikes which, they say, have halved their profits.