ATHENS – Parts of central Athens were closed to traffic on Oct. 2 as dozens of pensioners staged a rally on Vassilissis Sophias Avenue near the Parliament, joined by health care and hospital workers.
The pensioners were protesting against the government’s pension reforms, which include tax hikes and loss of benefits. They’ve already seen benefits cut up to 30 percent and lump sum benefits they earned over the decades slashed 38 percent on the orders of international lenders.
The country’s highest administrative court has ruled that unconstitutional but Prime Minister and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras has ignored it, as he has other court orders, leading judges to protest but not to go after him for contempt
Samaras has vowed no more austerity measures but it was earlier reported that the Finance Ministry wants to go after pensioners again as the fight against tax cheats has been lost in an attempt to bring in significant revenues.
Public hospitals across Greece were expected to operate on skeleton staffs due to a strike over staff shortages and wages as the government has made brutal cuts to the medical system too.
Taking part in the industrial action were doctors and nurses, other medical staff and ambulance teams. A protest rally was set to take place outside the Health Ministry in central Athens.