ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Riot police scuffled with striking school guards outside a ministry in central Athens on Monday morning, as labor unions geared up for a series of public sector strikes over job cuts.
At least two demonstrators were transported to hospitals suffering from breathing problems after police used small amounts of pepper spray in an attempt to move protesters away from the Administrative Reform Ministry, local media said.
Separately, thousands of school teachers and other civil servants held an afternoon demonstration to Parliament to demand a repeal of government plans to ax thousands of public sector jobs. In the northern city of Thessaloniki, about 10,000 protesters held a similar march. The country's main civil servants' union has called a two-day public sector strike for Wednesday and Thursday.
Under government plans, 12,500 public sector employees are to be suspended as part of efforts to trim Greece's bloated public sector and to meet conditions of the country's international bailout.
Greece has been depending on rescue loans from the International Monetary Fund and other European countries that use the euro currency since May 2010. In return, it has imposed repeated rounds of austerity measures, slashing salaries and pensions and introducing several rounds of tax hikes.
While the budget figures are showing some signs of improvement, with the budget deficit narrowing, the measures have also left the economy hammered by a deep recession, now in its sixth year. Unemployment has spiraled to above 27 percent, and is nearly 60 percent for those under the age of 25.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A man who was wrongly convicted of second degree murder in 2009 has been set free after spending four years in prison.
Investigators are trying to determine who dumped a dog on the side of the road inside a zipped up Coors Light thermal bag.
A man once featured on the Cattaraugus County Top 10 Most Wanted List has pleaded guilty after being extradited from Indiana.
New research shows three popular methods of quitting smoking do not increase risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Sergio Rodriguez announced Tuesday that he intends to run for the Buffalo School Board. He plans to run for one of three seats that will be up for election in May.
Children are making their wish lists for Santa Claus while consumer groups are making their own lists for parents.