Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Greek civil servants stage strike over pay and pensions

by Kerin Hope

Financial Times

November 14, 2018

Greek civil servants staged a 24-hour strike on Wednesday to press for wage and pensions increases that would reverse deep cuts in incomes enacted during the country’s three international bailouts since 2010.

Construction workers and employees of the state electricity utility also joined the walkout, the first large-scale union action since Athens exited its most recent rescue programme in August.

The strike came days after Alexis Tsipras, the leftwing prime minister, pledged to add more than 35,000 new civil service jobs over the next three years, rolling back tight restrictions on hiring imposed by Greece’s creditors during eight years of austerity.

In an unexpected move that caused uproar among church authorities, the premier also announced a plan to shift 9,000 Orthodox priests off the state payroll to make room for a similar number of new civil service appointments, without first having consulted the synod of Greek bishops.


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