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Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 26 September, 2018
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Rubbish is piling up on Athens' streets as temperatures soar

Greek workers are protesting against staff shortages that have resulted from terminating hundreds of short-term contracts.

Waste collectors on strike After five days of strike of the waste collectors, the streets are almost entirely covered with refuse. Source: DPA/PA Images

MOUNDS OF RUBBISH festered in rising temperatures in Athens today as thousands demonstrated in support of refuse collectors demanding the renewal of their contracts.

Authorities said around 5,000 people gathered in central Athens, closing roads to traffic in the latest protest against austerity measures imposed by the country’s international creditors.

Municipalities Workers Protest In Athens, Greece Tension between Municipal waste collection workers and the police outside of the Greek parliament. Source: Aristidis Vafeiadakis/PA Images

Protesters descended on Syntagma Square, which has become a crucible for popular discontent over Greece’s flailing economy.

Refuse collectors in the capital have not done their rounds in three days due to a contract dispute, with unions suggesting 6,500 workers risk having their terms expire.

Municipalities Workers Protest In Athens, Greece Tension between Municipal waste collection workers and the police outside of the Greek parliament. Source: Aristidis Vafeiadakis

With rubbish piling up across the city, Athens municipality urged residents not to take out their waste as temperatures topped 30 degrees by midday (10am Irish time).

Similar protests were held in Greece’s second-largest city Thessaloniki and in Heraklion, the capital of Crete.

Greece: Municipal Workers Rally in Athens A Greek union is holding a 24-hour strike to protest staff shortages that have resulted from the expiry of hundreds of short-term contracts. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Waste management in Greece is a recurring source of contention due to a recruitment freeze and many workers being offered only temporary contracts.

In Athens, refuse workers are calling for a new dump as the only current disposal site is deemed to be overfilled and a public health risk.

© – AFP 2017

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