Posts Tagged ‘Greece’

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Most of the coverage of the European parliamentary elections has focused on the success of “populist,” right-wing parties.

However, it is also the case that six countries—most notably Greece but also Spain, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, and Romania—moved not to the Right but to the Left.

Protesters from the Communist-affiliated trade union PAME shout slogans as they march towards the parliament during a general labour strike in Athens

Greek labor unions staged a nationwide strike today to protest against austerity policies imposed on the country by the current government and its foreign creditors, including Germany.

Schools and pharmacies were shut, ships remained docked at ports, hospitals operated on emergency staff, and transport in Athens was disrupted due to the 24-hour strike called by private sector union GSEE and its public sector counterpart ADEDY.

More than 20,000 workers, pensioners, students and the unemployed marched peacefully through the streets of the Greek capital chanting “EU, IMF take the bailout and get out of here!”

Unions said their anti-austerity message was also aimed at German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is due to meet Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in Athens on Friday. Germany has insisted on painful spending cuts and tax hikes in return for international loans.

“It’s time to save people not banks,” said 59-year old economist Eleni Prokou. “Merkel and the troika should stop sticking their nose in our business.”

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Special mention

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Chart of the day

Posted: 13 February 2014 in Uncategorized
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That’s the unemployment rate in Greece, which (according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority [pdf]) rose to an astronomical 28 percent in November.

The unemployment rate for young people (15-24 years of age) is even higher: 61.4 percent!

Chart of the day

Posted: 8 January 2014 in Uncategorized
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According to Eurostat [pdf], the euro area unemployment rate was a stubbornly high 12.1 percent in November 2013, unchanged since April. What this means is that 19.24 million workers in the euro area were without jobs, an increase of almost half a million since November 2012.

The countries with the highest unemployment rates were Greece (27.4 percent) and Spain (26.7 percent). Those countries also had the highest youth unemployment: an astounding 54.8 percent in Greece (September) and 57.7 percent in Spain (November).

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Protest of the day

Posted: 6 November 2013 in Uncategorized
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Greek workers have shut down the country today as a demonstration against austerity measures imposed by the government and foreign lenders, whose inspectors were in Athens to review the country’s performance under its bailout.

Protest of the day

Posted: 18 September 2013 in Uncategorized
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48-Hour Strike in Public Sector in Greece

Greek workers shut schools and forced hospitals to operate with only emergency staff today at the start of a 48-hour strike against the latest plans to fire thousands of public sector employees.

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Greece’s jobless rate hit a new record high of 27.6 percent in May, as the country continues to stagger under Draconian austerity measures.

According to the Hellenic Statistical Authority [pdf], unemployment rose from an upwardly revised 27.0 percent reading in April, and was more than twice the average rate in the euro zone which stood at 12.1 percent in June. The latest reading was the highest since ELSTAT began publishing monthly jobless data in 2006.

The new data showed that those aged 15 to 24 remained the hardest hit, as the unemployment rate for this age group registered an all-time high of 64.9 percent.

Since 2008, the unemployment rate has risen from 7.3 percent to 27.6 percent, while the number of unemployed workers has grown from about 357 thousand to almost 1.4 million.

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Tens of thousands of Greek workers walked off the job today and rallied in front of parliament to protest government plans to fire public sector employees in an attempt to satisfy foreign lenders.

The reforms that have most angered the unions are plans to put 25,000 civil servants, including teachers and municipal police officers, into a so-called mobility plan by the end of the year, docking their wages ahead of forced transfers or dismissals. Another 15,000 workers are to be laid off by the end of 2014.

Local government employees have been occupying city buildings this week to protest the changes which, the unions say, will aggravate a deepening recession and add to the ranks of the unemployed who already account for more than 27 percent of the population.

“We will resist all those whose wrongheaded and dead-end choices have led the Greek people into poverty and wretchedness,” said the main private sector labor union, Gsee, which called the action with the civil servants’ union, Adedy.