ATHENS, November 22 (Itar-Tass) —— Workers of the public transport, of local administrations and of the Greek Power Corporation went on strike in Greece on Tuesday, protesting against structural reforms and austerity measures, which are being taken by the Greek government. According to reports of the trade unions, both lines of the Athens metro, the ground line of the light metro, which connects Athens and the port of Piraeus, as well as trams, will be at a standstill for four hours. Rail transport workers are protesting against the overall reduction of wages, the cancellation of collective labour contracts, the liquidation and merger of state agencies and the transfer of part of their personnel to the staff of the Labour Reserve Organization, where they will receive 60 percent of their wages during a year.
Workers of local administrations also went on strike. They are going to hold a rally outside the building of the Interior Ministry, and to declare a national strike of workers of mayor’s offices next week in protest against the introduction of a single wage scale.
Members of the trade union of the Greek Power Corporation (DEI) captured on Monday its information centre, from which orders are coming on stopping electricity supply to the consumers, who have not paid a special housing tax, included in the electricity bill. The trade union turned off the information system and made it impossible for DEI to stop electricity supply to debtors, or to do any payment transactions with bills. The protesters say they did it for protecting low-income sections of the population against a possibility of being left without electricity. The new tax on immovable property, approved by the authorities in September, ranges from three to twenty euros per square meter of floor space, according to the rate calculated by tax inspectorates, depending on the prestige of the residential area. The tax on a flat with an average floor space of 100 square meters in a new house, situated in a prestigious district, amounts to 2,000 euros a year, according to the maximum rate. For people in a low-income bracket, including the unemployed, the tax amounts to 0.5 euros per square meter of floor space.