Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis came under attack by local authority workers protesting layoffs and job transfers on Sunday night.
Kaminis had been taking part in a meeting of the Confederation of Greek Municipalities (KEDE) in Athens. Mayors from all over Greece had gathered to discuss the new measures agreed by the government and the troika, which will lead to thousands of municipal employees being transferred or losing their jobs.
Kaminis, who appears willing to cooperate with the government to execute the measures, was attacked as he left the meeting. According to reports, there were dozens of unionists representing municipal workers outside the building. Kaminis was treated for minor injuries at the hospital.
He later issued a statement blaming the municipal workers’ union POE-OTA and its leader, Themis Balasopoulos, for the incident.
“By targeting the mayor of Athens, who has spoken clearly on all issues, the POE-OTA president is trying to cover up his longstanding embroilment in the clientelistic system in local government,” the mayor’s office said, accusing Balasopoulos of leading union members “down a dangerous road”.
POE-OTE condemned the attack, saying it was “damaging for the just fight of local authority workers”. The union blamed agent provocateurs for the incident.
Municipal employees are due to walk off the job at noon on Monday and protest in central Athens after the government agreed with the troika to place thousands of them in a labor mobility scheme that will see them moves to other departments or fired as part of the reforms Greece needs to carry out to secure more bailout funding.