May Day Protests Take Place Across Greece

© AFP 2023 / ARIS MESSINISProtesters gather as they take part in the annual May Day (Labour Day) marking the international day of the worker, in Athens, on May 1, 2022.
Protesters gather as they take part in the annual May Day (Labour Day) marking the international day of the worker, in Athens, on May 1, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.05.2022
ATHENS (Sputnik) - Greek trade unions have held numerous protests and strikes timed to the International Workers' Day in Athens and other Greek cities on Sunday, calling for better working conditions.
Sailors, ferry services employees, metro and tram workers organised a 24-hour rally. Three protests were held in Athens.
The All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) created at the initiative of the Communist Party of Greece organised a rally in the central square of Athens, Syntagma, near the parliament building.
"The only right side of history is the way of the class struggle. It moves the wheel of history forward until the working class is completely released, until the exploitation of a man by a man is aborted," Dimitris Koutsoumpas, General Secretary of the Communist Party, said during the rally in response to the statement of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis that the government "is on the right side of history in the situation with Ukraine."
The protest ended with the performance of the Internationale, the international proletariat anthem.
At the same time, a separate rally took place on the Klaftmonos Square. It was organised by the Civil Servants' Confederation (ADEDY) and the General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE). The protest was also attended by representatives of organisations of migrants and refugees, including those from Bangladesh and the Palestinian Authority.
Extra-parliamentary leftist parties and groups held their own small rally in front of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
Demonstrations also took place in other Greek cities, including Thessaloniki, Patras, Heraklion.
Protesters across the country demanded that the government change its economic policy, ensure decent salaries for workers and their social protection, repeal anti-labor laws and stop spending money on weapons. Some demonstrators also called for the non-participation of Greece in the Ukrainian conflict.
Mitsotakis, in turn, announced on social media that the Greek government had welcomed the International Workers' Day by increasing the minimum wage by 50 euros ($52) per month starting May 1 and raising the unemployment benefit by 31 euros ($32) per month.
"We honour the world of work not with slogans, but with actions!" the prime minister said.
The mandatory holiday on 1 May in Greece has been moved to Monday, May 2, by a decision of Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Kostis Hatzidakis.
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