Greek police ends occupation of subway train depot
ATHENES - Reuters
A metro worker stands in front of riot police at a metro depot in Athens January 25, 2013. REUTERS PhotoGreek riot police stormed a train depot in Athens on Jan. 25 to disperse subway staff defying government orders to end their strike, intensifying a standoff that has paralyzed public transport in the city. The Greek capital’s subway lines remained shut for the ninth day as most subway workers continued a strike against planned wage cuts. But some were back on the job after being served the orders to return to work or face arrest.
Scuffles broke out when police forced their way through a metal gate at the subway depot where 90 workers had gathered overnight in protest. Police detained at least 10 workers, an official said on condition of anonymity. One woman was taken to hospital with light injuries, he added.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ government has taken a hard line on the strike despite criticism from the smallest party in his three-party government. “When labor action is judged illegal and abusive, the law has to be implemented. Everyone has made sacrifices and no one can ask to be made an exception,” government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said.
Public anger has grown against the strike which affects more than half a million commuters in the city of 5 million people. The showdown has turned into the latest test for Greece’s fragile three-party ruling coalition as it faces down powerful unions to implement austerity measures demanded by foreign lenders as the price for bailout funds.