Civil servants block ministries, services in Athens

The civil servants' umbrella federation ADEDY and individual groups of protesting public sector employees blocked entrances to most ministries and state agencies in central Athens on Thursday, in protest of the government's economic policies and ahead of the resumption of talks between the government and the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) 'troika' representatives, who have returned to Athens. A handful of ministries, including the finance ministry, were blocked, according to an ADEDY announcement on Thursday morning, while civil servants in other ministries held open general assemblies to decide on future mobilisations.

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.

ADEDY president Costas Tsikrikas told AMNA that the actions 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 "borne the major brunt of the burdens".

He added that total losses to civil servants' incomes, including the latest 20-percent reduction that will arise with the new unified salary scale, exceeds 50 percent.

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