Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:3PM
More anti-austerity protests in Greece. Municipal workers across the country are out against wage cuts and the lack of funding that threatens social benefits and thousands of jobs.
Angry municipal unionists and local authority healthcare workers from across the country gather in Athens to protest what they call the lack of a response from the labor ministry, which aims to abolish some fundamental social benefits like home care for the elderly and the disabled, in the process threatening the jobs of thousands of workers. These workers' contracts expire on March 31st and the government shows no intention to renew them, several meetings with officials have so far been fruitless. Social workers employed by local authorities have not been paid for many months and they do not see a way out of this crisis. Hospital workers tell us how the country's health crisis will worsen by axing local authority benefits and provisions. In the capital Athens, more than 25.000 Greeks and migrants live in city streets. Continued austerity policing has drained the country’s state insurance funds and relentless axing of wages pensions and benefits means thousands more now need social services to make ends meet. Welfare resources in Greece are shrinking across the spectrum, from state-run hospitals to municipal-run homecare. More Greeks are now unable to deal with emergencies against a system that appears unable to support the most vulnerable groups.