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Greek state workers strike again

Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - 01:49

Greece's main civil servants stage a 24-hour strike over the government's economic policies. As Hayley Platt reports there are also protests taking place over the partial sale of the country's power company.

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Defiant and determined. Greek state workers, including doctors, teachers and prison workers, take part in a strike. They're angry about the number of job cuts the government is implementing. It's axing 150,000 of its 600,000 strong workforce by 2015 as part of its 240 billion euro bailout Greek labour unions say the policies are barbaric. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) PRESIDENT OF GREEK SECONDARY SCHOOL STATE TEACHERS UNION THEMIS KOTSIFAKIS SAYING: "They're destroying the country's public services. They are firing teachers, school guards, cleaners, and other state workers - this policy must be stopped or it will negatively affect all of society." The 24-hour strike coincides with a visit from the country's creditors. The Troika have been monitoring Greece's progress. And it's making progress, albeit slow. The problem is it doesn't feel like it for most ordinary Greeks. (SOUNDBITE)(Greek) LAID OFF HOUSEKEEPING WORKER EVANGELIA ALEXAKI SAYING: "These measures must be stopped. Everyone needs to come out onto the streets to help get rid of them. If they don't we're lost." Greece has been battling deep recession for six years. It still has one of the highest unemployment rates - currently at 26 percent - and among the young it's almost double that. Tom Elliott of Devere Group says it's deep structural problems can't be ignored either. SOUNDBITE: Tom Elliott, International Investment Strategist, Devere Group, saying (English): "Greece has an enormous debt to GDP still that it is unlikely to repay without default and I think we're just waiting for another crisis." These workers might agree with that. And it's not the only protest in town. Electricity workers are angry over government plans to sell off 30 percent of the state power corporation. They voted to walkout despite it being the height of the summer tourist season. That could hurt a business sector Greece really needs.

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Greek state workers strike again

Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - 01:49