Hundreds of protesting shipyard workers in Greece have broken into the grounds of the country’s Defense Ministry in Athens. The protestors pushed through the ministry gates attempting to enter the ministerial offices.
The shipyard workers say they have not been paid for several months, some remain unpaid for three years. The police forces have clashed with the protestors and have arrested and injured several workers.
Protests are becoming an everyday scene in Greece as the country battles with its economic crisis.
Greece has been at the epicenter of the eurozone debt crisis and is experiencing its fifth year of recession, while harsh austerity measures have left about half a million people without jobs.
One in every five Greek workers is currently out of work, banks are in a shaky position, and pensions and salaries have been slashed by up to 40 percent.
Meanwhile, in Italy the police that broke up protests days ago have gone on a protest themselves. Tens of Italian police officers and heads of labor unions rallied in front of the Ministry of Labor.
The move is in protest to Prime Minister Mario Monti’s austerity measures. The Italian government has cut the police budget and has increased the retirement age to 62.
This comes as Italy’s main cities were yesterday paralyzed due to a 24-hour strike staged by public transporters in protest to poor working conditions and the government’s failure to renew their contracts.
Over the past decade, Italy has been the slowest growing economy in the eurozone.
A transport strike, organized by several worker unions, is also in place in Portugal. The striking workers are angry about the government’s decision to increase taxes and introduce more cuts to public spending.
Various EU member states have been struggling with deep economic stagnancy since the bloc’s financial crisis began roughly five years ago. The debt crisis began in Greece and later spread to Ireland, Portugal and even the much bigger economy of Spain.
As a result, the member states started implementing tough austerity measures in a bid to prevent facing double-dip recessions.
The austerity measures have only resulted in growing anger among the most affected people, sacked or low-income workers and students.