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Cleaning lady hospitalised after riot police clash

Supreme Court rules against rehiring of fired finance ministry cleaning staff

Angry scenes outside the finance ministry, where the laid-off cleaners have maintained a daily protest against their dismissal to satisfy troika demands

A wounded cleaning lady (Photo: Stelios Stefanou/Eleftherotypia) A wounded cleaning lady (Photo: Stelios Stefanou/Eleftherotypia) Two cleaning ladies and a photojournalist were injured in clashes with riot police on Thursday afternoon, after the Supreme Court’s overturning of an earlier Council of State decision that called on the finance ministry to rehire hundreds of sacked cleaning ladies fired to meet troika demands.

After the Supreme Court decision became known, there were angry scenes outside the ministry, in central Athens, where the laid-off cleaners have maintained a daily protest against their dismissal.

One of the cleaning ladies was hospitalised.

Earlier in the day a delegation of five Syriza MPs was received by the new finance minister, Gikas Hardouvelis, to discuss the issue. Speaking after the meeting, the MPs said that the minister stressed that he has not been briefed on the case and asked for a few days in order to meet with a cleaners' delegation.

The MPs told Hardouvelis that the issue could be solved by a political decision and stressed that the riot police used more violence than necessary and requested that they be withdrawn.

One of the MPs, Thanasis Petrakos, reported that he was hit by policemen despite the fact that he showed them his parliamentary identification.

Cleaning ladies and riot police (Photo: Orestis Seferoglou/Eleftherotypia) Cleaning ladies and riot police (Photo: Orestis Seferoglou/Eleftherotypia) Last September, 465 finance ministry cleaning women – who were employed at ministry buildings and tax offices around the country – were effectively dismissed when they were placed in the so-called mobility scheme. They received reduced wages for eight months and were formally dismissed on May 18, unless they found alternative employment in the public sector in the meantime.

However, on May 16, an Athens court upheld an appeal from 397 of the women against the decision to place them in the mobility scheme.

Since September, the women have maintained a peaceful protest outside the ministry.

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