More strikes in Greece in wake of anti-fascist's murder
ATHENS - Agence France-Presse
A police officer pushes back an employee from the state?s social insurance funds during a protest against the government?s plan for forced transfers in the public sector, outside the labour ministry in Athens September 17, 2013. REUTERS photoThousands of civil servants were to demonstrate in Athens against staff cuts on Wednesday, hours after an anti-fascist artist's murder, allegedly by a suspected neo-Nazi, threatened to inflame tensions in Greece.
Pavlos Fyssas, a 34-year-old hip hop artist, was stabbed to death early on Wednesday morning in the western Athens district of Keratsini, reportedly after a football argument.
Police said a 45-year-old alleged member of the Golden Dawn neo-Nazi group arrested in connection with the killing had confessed to killing Fyssas, who wrote music under the nickname Kilah P.
"The suspect confessed and also admits that he has a specific political affiliation," a police source said, without elaborating. Golden Dawn immediately denied any connection, but the incident -- a few days after a group of Communists were beaten by suspected neo-Nazis -- is likely to raise social tensions in Greece where anger is simmering over four years of austerity cuts.
On Monday, at least 17,000 teachers and civil servants took to the streets to protest against new government plans for massive public sector redeployments and layoffs.
Two separate demonstrations are planned in Athens on Wednesday, with civil servants joined by hospital doctors, municipal workers and teachers.
Greece's union of civil servants, ADEDY, has called a two-day strike over the latest job overhaul.
The country's main union GSEE also ordered a four-hour work stoppage and journalists walked off the job until midday in support.
Overall, Greece has pledged to axe 4,000 state jobs and redeploy 25,000 public sector workers by the end of the year, in return for its much-needed rescue loans.
Civil servants have to accept new posts or spend eight months on reduced salaries as alternative posts are found, with the risk of losing their jobs altogether.
Hard hit by the economic crisis, Greece is experiencing a sixth year of continuous recession and has a staggering 27-percent unemployment rate.
Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who heads a tenuous coalition with the socialists, this week said the Greek economy is likely to need another six years to return to pre-crisis levels.