On Thursday, Greece’s government ordered police to reopen landfills in the country’s two main cities after a 10-day blockade by municipal workers who halted sanitation services and left tons of uncollected garbage on city streets.
In the past few days, Greek public health officials have described the garbage piles in the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki as a “time bomb” that posed a growing threat to public health.
In a news conference, Interior Minister Haris Kastanidis also told local mayors to “immediately” examine the possibility of appointing private companies to clean up once police open access to the landfills.
“It is obvious we must protect public health,” he said.
The decision marks a new and tougher stance by the government against striking municipal and other employees who have staged a barrage of strikes and other protests against the government’s latest austerity measures, which include cuts in public sector jobs and pay.
(source: Dow Jones)