Sunday, November 11, 2012

Greeks angered by "princes of parliament" pay fight

When Greece's government pushed through a law last week aimed at slashing public wages and raising taxes, its biggest threat was not the firebrand opposition or the 100,000 protesters thronged at the gates of parliament.

It was the assembly's workers themselves, a well-connected group that has long evoked disdain for enjoying the kind of lavish pay and benefits that have become emblematic of the public sector excess at the heart of Greece's debt crisis.

The staff dispute that image. But, having discovered that a 500-odd page draft law of cost cuts and tax hikes included a last minute amendment giving the finance ministry oversight over parliamentary pay, dozens of clerks walked off the job.

"Thieves!" they shouted at parliamentarians as they blocked the doors to the chamber, according to a witness, who saw some workers try to hit journalists who were filming them.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/11/us-greece-parliament-workers-idUSBRE8AA05R20121111