15 uniformed officials, mainly police officers belonging to the Hellenic Federation of the Police (POASY) and unionists from the Greek Coast Guard and Fire Brigade, gathered at the central offices of the ruling Radical Left Coalition (SYRIZA) party in central Athens. Holding banners, they occupied the building to protest against pension reforms, ahead of a parliamentary debate that overhauls the Greek social security and tax system on Saturday and Sunday.
In a strongly-worded letter outlining their demands they state:
- main and auxiliary pensions should not be cut in the case of personal retirement rights as well as in cases concerning widow pensions, and lump sum benefits;
- the independence of the Greek General Accounting Office and its non-inclusion in the Single Social Security Agency (EFKA) should be ensured, so that it can continue to award and regulate pensions of public officials and the military;
- the lifting of the “unethical” provision repealing widow pensions to wives of police, port and fire brigade officials younger than 52 years of age without children, who had been murdered, burnt or drowned while in service;
- the cancellation of other provisions regulating social security measures.
The protestors stress that the abolition of social rights following decades of struggle are now being abolished by the left-led SYRIZA government and Greece’s international creditors (European Commission, European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund, European Stability Mechanism).