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Greek government absent as garbage chokes Athens

As a heatwave is forecast to hit Greece next week and amid more rubbish piling across Athens, the conditions in the Greek capital are expected to get even worse as the Federation of workers in the Municipalities and local communities of Greece (POE-PTA) have decided to suspend all activities in light of the ongoing strike of garbage collectors.

The workers’ union said it would continue to block garbage trucks from going on rounds, while they also decided to block access to and from the Sanitary Landfill Sites (XYTA) and abstain from any overtime work. The municipality works said they would continue their disruptive industrial actions until the issue of the permanent hiring of rubbish collectors, who are currently on short term contacts is resolved by the Greek government. Meanwhile, the leader of the major Greek opposition party of New Democracy, Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused Greek PM Alexis Tsipras and his government of deceiving both the POE OTE workers and the Greek public in a tweet. “Mr. Tsipras, apart from all the Greeks, has deceived the contactual workers of POE-OTA. That does not legitimise the whole country being buried in rubbish”, he wrote.

The workers union decided to hold a new march on June 26 in all the country’s regions, while a protest has been planned at 11.30am of the same day outside their union’s offices followed by a march towards the Greek parliament and the Ministry for Administrative Reconstruction. All the municipalities’ vehicle depots will be blocked off on June 27 and 28, while on June 29 there will a new nationwide strike by POE OTA. The Association of Greek Municipalities (KED) will convene in an emergency session on June 28 to decide whether its services will shut down if the government fails to solve the matter of the limited term contracted workers.