Sit-ins at several ministries in central Athens

Civil servants early Tuesday staged sit-ins at several ministries in Athens, protesting against the government's measure of reserve labour and the new uniform civil service salary scale.

    The sit-ins, at the development ministry, agricultural development ministry, culture and tourism ministry, employment and social security ministry and the ministry of finance, will continue on Wednesday, when the Civil Servants' Supreme Administrative Council (ADEDY) and General Confederation of Workers of Greece (GSEE), Greece's two largest umbrella federations representing the public and private sector, respectively, have called a 24-hour nationwide strike in the public sector and the so-called DEKO (public utilities and state organisations).

    Another demonstration was staged at the education ministry, where a group of approximately 70 university students who are demanding that the new law on higher education reform be rescinded staged a blockade at dawn. The students also put up a large banner at the ministry entrance, and dispersed two hours later as ministry employees arrived for work. The education ministry employees are due to hold a general assembly on Tuesday to decide whether they, too, will stage a sit-in.

    Meanwhile, a group of approximately 30 members of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) affiliated PAME labour organisation occupied employment and social security minister George Koutroumanis' office, demanding a meeting with the minister, while another 50 protestors blocked of the entrance to the ministry in downtown Athens. The demonstrators are protesting a prospective abolition of the National General Collective Labour Agreement.

    The umbrella unions have also called another 24-hour strike for October 19.

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