Greek Uniformed Officers Protest Cuts to “Special Salaries”

    Uniformed officers in Athens have decided to start massive protests following the announced cuts to be imposed on so-called “Special Salaries,” they receive, as well as academics, judges, diplomats and other categories of civil servants who have so far largely escaped austerity measures put on other workers.

    Association representatives of police officers, firefighters and port authority officers gathered Aug. 31 in Syntagma Square in central Athens to express their unhappiness with plans to cut their pay. The government is proceeding to make  $14.16 billion in cuts demanded by international lenders in return for the continuation of bailout loans.

    The officers said they planned to take their protest to Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras and also want to make their case directly to inspectors of the Troika who are due back in Athens on Sept. 5 to check progress on the planned cuts and other reforms.

    Protests are expected to continue next week as well, with marches in the center of the capital. Representatives also stated they will make a presence at the International Trade Fair of Thessaloniki, where Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will not give an economic speech, breaking a long tradition.

    In a press conference, the officers said they refuse to accept any cuts – even a single euro, but assured the public that their protests will not distract them from their duty; to protect the citizens.