Greek judges on strike against salary cuts

AFP, Monday 17 Sep 2012

Judges in Greece strike to protest new salary cuts planned by the government as part of its 11.6 billion euro austerity package

Greek judges on Monday launched separate strikes in protest at new salary cuts planned by the government as it struggles to finalise an 11.6-billion-euro austerity package to unlock EU-IMF loans.

The union of judges and prosecutors said its members would observe five-hour work stoppages to September 22 and only publish emergency rulings.

Effectively, this means they will only spend an hour daily on the bench.

Administrative court judges will hold a longer mobilisation to September 30, a move expected to affect the cash-strapped state's efforts to chase down tax revenues.

"Administrative court officials have exclusively contributed to meeting the goal of clearing pending tax cases," their union said in a statement.

It added that if the latest cuts went through, its members would have their salaries reduced by over 50 per cent in the last two years.

Teachers, doctors and pensioners have also protested against the new austerity measures that will hit a country already trapped in a fifth year of recession and with unemployment affecting nearly a quarter of the workforce.

Greece must apply the latest cuts to unlock 31.5 billion euros ($41 billion) in loans from the EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank, part of an ongoing bailout from the three organisations known here as the troika.

Military staff and police have also joined picket lines and a general strike has been called against the austerity package on September 26.

Short link: