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Society

Greek Workers Fury, Clashes Erupt in Inflation Strike Protest

ATHENS – Clashes broke out an demonstration in the Greek capital by public and private sector workers over soaring inflation, demanding higher pay to fill the gap as their purchasing power has shrunk dramatically.

They walked off the job for 24 hours in protest and while it disrupted services, apart from airport workers barred from taking part, it didn’t move the New Democracy government although 6 percent growth is expected in 2022.

The state has pumped 9 billion euros ($8.95 billion) into energy aid to pay 90 percent of electric bills that doubled for households in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose administration will raise pensions for the first time in 12 years after beneficiaries were held down austerity measures attached to three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($324.35) said there’s not enough money to reduce a 24 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on food.

“We demand higher wages and social protection for everyone”, the Confederation of Private Employees GSEE said, reported EuroNews which said that the tangles broke out between small groups of protesters and riot police during marches in Greece’s two largest cities, Athens and Thessaloniki.

Small groups of demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at police, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades. There were no immediate reports of injuries, it was added.

The government has also announced a 5.5 billion euro ($5.47 billion) package

envelope with exceptional aid of 250 euros ($248.73) for the lowest income earners, housing aid for students, and an emergency subsidy for farmers, the site noted, unions said it’s a pre-election gimmick.

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