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Garbage strike dominates talks between minister, new Athens mayor

Δημοσίευση 8 Δεκεμβρίου 2010, 11:57 / Ανανεώθηκε 27 Ιουνίου 2013, 14:55
Garbage strike dominates talks between minister, new Athens mayor
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Interior Minister Yiannis Ragoussis on Tuesday lashed out at outgoing Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis after meeting with newly elected mayor Giorgos Kaminis to discuss the issue of short-term municipal contract workers, and more importantly, the pressing problem of garbage collection throughout the greater Athens area during the Christmas holidays.

Interior Minister Yiannis Ragoussis on Tuesday lashed out at outgoing Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis after meeting with newly elected mayor Giorgos Kaminis to discuss the issue of short-term municipal contract workers, and more importantly, the pressing problem of garbage collection throughout the greater Athens area during the Christmas holidays.

Tons of uncollected garbage is piling up in greater Athens after several days of work-to-rule action by staff at a landfill in extreme northwest Athens, which has slowed garbage collection in the region. Protesters demand the renewal of short-term work contracts for roughly 100 employees.

Ragoussis stressed that the municipal authority should “announce new hirings immediately or it could face the prosecutor”. He underlined that there is no excuse for not hiring personnel “through the objective ASEP (Supreme Staff Collection Council) procedures following the example of the public sector and other municipalities that have already proceeded with the hirings of tens of thousands of contract workers in different sectors including garbage collection”.

Ragoussis said his meeting with Kaminis was "very constructive", focusing on all the thorny issues with which the largest municipality in the country is faced.

Kaklamanis reaction

In an immediate reply, outgoing mayor Kaklamanis emphasised that "the difficulties now begin, Mr. Ragoussis will now reap the mistakes he made due to his political intransigence," referring directly to the new garbage strike.

He also charged that the same problem will exist in other municipalities around the country, while reminding of a proposal by the Union of Municipalities (KEDKE) for a two-year transition period and increased point-system for contract workers vying for permanent status.

In an unrelated development, Piraeus Port Authority S.A. President & CEO Giorgos Anomeritis met on Tuesday with newly elected Piraeus mayor Vassilis Michaloliakos, with talks touching on the developmental programme for the country’s largest commercial port and the new mayor's priorities for the municipality.