Nationwide labour strike Wednesday, police use tear gas in clashes in downtown Athens

A major turnout was reported in Wednesday's 24-hour nationwide strike by employees on the so-called DEKO (public utilities and organisations), state agencies and public services, called by the country's two main umbrella federations GSEE and ADEDY, while 10 people were arrested during clashes with police in Syntagma Square, outside the parliament building in central Athens.

A total of 20 people were taken in for questioning by police, of which 10 were remanded and will appear before a public prosecutor and the other 10 were released.

Meanwhile, the Attica General Police Directorate (GADA) announced on Thursday that an investigation has been ordered into instances of police brutality against journalists and demonstrators to ascertain the circumstances of the incidents and attribute responsibility.

Demonstrators gathered at nearby Klafthmonos Square for the main GSEE-ADEDY protest rally and then marched to parliament, chanting slogans against the labour reserve measure and the Memorandum.

According to reports, a group of approximately 500 younger-age demonstrators, who had previously been chased by police on Panepistimiou Avenue, broke through the main body of demonstrators and started throwing rocks against police, who responded with tear gas.

Police finally isolated the troublemakers outside the metro station at Syntagma.

According to strike organisers GSEE and ADEDY, which represent the private and public sector workers respectively, participation in the strike exceeded 90 percent.

GSEE and ADEDY representatives, addressing the rally earlier, warned that the policy followed by the government in the public sector does not solve the problems, adding that the state has the obligation to support the working people.

ADEDY president Costas Tsikrikas said that the employees in the public and private sector are coordinating their forces and shouting in unison that "enough is enough", and that they will not allow the government and the EU-IMF troika to raze everything, adding that the working people have exhausted the limits of their endurance and are being led to poverty.

The rally adopted a resolution calling on the government to rescind the reserve labour measure and to safeguard the institution of the National General Collective Labour Agreement, and boost the incomes and buying power of the working people.

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