Civil servants block ministries, services in Athens

The Greek civil servants' umbrella federation ADEDY and individual federations and unions staged blockades of most ministries and civil services in Athens on Thursday in protest of the government's economic policy, ahead of the resumption of talks between the government and the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) 'troika' chiefs, who have returned to Athens.

The entrances to the Finance ministry, Administrative Reform & e-Governance ministry, Interior ministry, Regional Development, Competitiveness and Shipping ministry, Social Security ministry, environment ministry and agriculture ministry were blocked, according to an ADEDY announcement on Thursday morning, while civil servants in the other ministries were holding assemblies to decide on going ahead with similar blockades.

The employees at the finance ministry said their aim is to obstruct a troika meeting with finance minister Evangelos Venizelos, adding that they will remain in place for 48 hours.

Blockades at the Labour and Social Security ministry and the General State Accounts Office ended shortly after noon, as the employees began their general assemblies.

The blockades at the rest of the ministries and civil services will end at the end of the working day

The protestors will also hold a protest demonstration at Klafthmonos Square in downtown Athens at 6:00 on Thursday afternoon.

ADEDY president Costas Tsikrikas told AMNA that the blockades were of a "symbolic nature", aimed at sending a "resounding message" to the government and the EU that the present situation cannot continue, given that the working people, and the employees in the public sector much more, have born the major brunt of the burdens.

He added that the total losses to civil servants' incomes, including a new 20 percent reduction that will arise with the new uniform salary scale, exceeds 50 percent, warning that the measures being taken are unfair and ineffective since they lead to increased unemployment and deeper recession.

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