More Than 1,000 March For Workers Rights In Athens

photo_verybig_10196022Members of the leftist PAME group waved red flags and chanted slogans on their way to parliament.

More than 1,000 leftist unionists marched through Athens on Tuesday to demand protection of workers’ rights as the global crisis hits Greece.

Members of the leftist PAME group waved red flags and chanted “No sacrifice for plutocracy” and “Their world is a fraud” on their way to parliament.

Greece has been hit by a series of protests as its economy slows down. The police shooting of a teenager in December led to the worst riots in decades, fuelled by discontent over economic policy and youth unemployment.

“Is there anyone who is not worried about himself, about his children, about the future?” protester Angelos Koursaris, 57, told Reuters. “If young people don’t come out on the streets, their future will be black and uncertain.”

Protesters called for an end to dismissals and the reduction of work hours as a result of the slowing economy. Greece had enjoyed 4 percent annual growth for years but the European Union predicts the economy will only expand by 0.2 percent in 2009.

The Greek government has launched a 28 billion euros bank support package but a huge debt and fiscal problems have prevented the ruling conservatives from giving substantial relief to the poor.

Unions, which accuse the government of protecting the rich instead of the poor, have called for a nationwide strike on April 2.

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