Greece’s Port Workers On Strike

    Piraeus PortThe workers in ports across Greece proceeded with a 24 hour strike today Wednesday, February 26, reacting to the privatization of the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP), the country’s largest port.

    The Hellenic Federation of Port Workers gathered this morning at the center of Athens and marched towards the Greek Parliament, where the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund presented the terms of the tender for OLP.

    Port workers, in their official announcement claimed that the Greek government “despite the strong reaction of trade unions, social organizations, and the local and regional authorities, is continuing efforts to divest Piraeus and Thessaloniki Port Authorities as well as other ports.” They described the privatization of Greek ports as a “crime against national economy, prospects for development and the ports’ social role.”

    The Greek government in 2010 announced a wide privatization program aiming at the leverage of private investment in order to boost the Greek economy, and contribute to the ongoing fiscal consolidation effort. The government’s privatization program included rail and road transports, airports and ports, utilities, gaming and public real estate holdings.

    According to the original terms of the bailout, Greece should have collected 22 billion euros. However, only 2.6 billion euros  have been raised from asset sales since a European Union-IMF bailout began in 2010.