Sunday Dec 30, 201206:13 PM GMT
Greek police, shop workers clash at protest over Sunday work
Protesters march through Athens
Protesters march through Athens' main shopping street during a demonstration against a draft law allowing retail stores to open on Sundays, December 30, 2012.
Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:13PM
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Scuffles have broken out between Greek police and shop employees after the government allowed shops to open on some Sundays.


Hundreds of angry demonstrators went on strike and stormed onto Athens’s busiest shopping street on Sunday chanting “Never on Sunday.”

The police attempted to clear the street by pushing and kicking protesters away toward the sidewalk. However, they resisted the police force and scuffles broke out.

“We don't have the money to go shopping and we don't have enough time to live our own lives. And so, we are utterly against working seven days a week, for less money and with fewer rights,” a bookstore employee said.

The employees themselves have called on their working colleagues to leave their shops and join the protest.

The protest comes in retaliation to the increased working hours and lower salaries that the conservative-led coalition government introduced to boost sales for companies affected by the new set of austerity measures.

The European Union and the International Monetary Fund required the new round of cuts to wages and pensions from Greece to release almost 50 billion euros in loan disbursement, agreed last month.

The Bank of Greece regards the loan as essential for the Greek economy; however, the new set of measures will decrease growth.

"Next year will be a difficult year for us because GDP (gross domestic product) will decline further by about four percent. And this will happen because the Greek Parliament had to approve a very bold and painful fiscal package,” the governor of the Bank of Greece, Georgios A. Provopoulos said on November 29, after the bailout's approval.

GVN/PKH/SS
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